Fifteen is the kind of age where you’re not expected to do much more than prepare for your GCSEs, look for a Saturday job and generally enjoy your latest purchase from HMV. Not to mention keep all the adults in your life happy whilst you spend your weekends taking silly photos with your friends. The notion that a teenager is capable of balancing all this with a business is forever astounding.
When there are grown-up inventors who can’t even persuade those on Dragon’s Den to invest, it’s definitely inspiring to see young people finding success early on. Whilst blogging and YouTube has been instrumental in allowing young voices to emerge, that has not deterred the inception of all sorts of businesses. Three years ago, American teen Noa Mintz founded the immensely prosperous company Nannies by Noa, a service which matches families with prospective babysitters and nannies. Though that may come across like a dating website, the format has proved to be successful venture and it’s estimated to be making $375,000 a year in revenue. It’s virtually unbelievable that this was started by Noa at the tender age of twelve years old.
In popular culture, being successful from such a young age doesn’t seem quite so strange. Lorde already had two Grammy awards under her belt by the age of eighteen, Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at seventeen and at eighteen, Tavi Gevinson is the editor-in-chief of her very own online magazine, which receives around 3.5 million hits a month. With such positive role models, it’s no surprise that so many other teens are making the most of their own talents.
Two years ago saw British teen Nick D’Aloisio sell his app to Yahoo for an estimated $30 million dollars. Having taught himself to code, D’Aloisio made the most of his free time by harnessing his ideas into different apps and going along via trial and error. Reaching the kind of success that many adults spend their entire careers dreaming of may cause alarm, but it would seem that most of these young entrepreneurs take it all in their stride.
Having been brought up in a fickle culture where public opinion shifts as rapidly as the Top 40 charts, it would seem that these teenagers are happy enough to make the most of all opportunities that come their way before they end up knowing enough to form doubts. The fearlessness of youth and a desire to share things are found in abundance, particularly when they constantly have social media at their fingertips. Instead of being shocked, jealous or patronising towards these teenagers, perhaps we should be celebrating the future of the business world more.
Written by Victoria Rodrigues O’Donnell
Pictures via nypost.com and stylelikeu.com