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A guide to helping your teen start their own business 

Today, teens are super interested in starting their own businesses! A recent survey by EY Ripples and JA Worldwide found that 53% of Gen Z teens want to have their own businesses in the next ten years.

Whether it’s a summer gig or a side hustle, teens are excited to be founders and entrepreneurs.

In Australia, smart teens are turning their hobbies into businesses, thanks to social media and the pandemic.

Starting a business might seem big, but school holidays are the perfect time for teens to learn business skills and work on their cool ideas.

Girls who dream of being their own bosses can join free online workshops during the holidays. The Academy of Enterprising Girls (AEG) offers these workshops to help girls boost their entrepreneurial skills and become leaders. The AEG exists to inspire young women aged 10 – 18 in the fields of STEM, design and business and target gender gaps in these areas, the Academy’s spokeswoman Fleur Anderson said.

“STEM-based jobs make up 75 per cent of the fastest-growing occupations and higher-paying jobs but in Australia, only 17 per cent of people working in STEM-skilled professions are women. We know we need to encourage more women in these industries, and it starts with fostering their passions in these areas as girls,” Ms Anderson said.

If your teen has an idea for a business of their own, there are plenty of steps they can take these school holidays to get them started on their entrepreneurial journey.

Join the Academy for Enterprising Girls and develop your business idea so it’s ready to launch. The Academy for Enterprising Girls is a fun and exciting entrepreneurship program, available free to all young women in Australia aged 10 – 18, funded under the Australian Government’s Women’s Leadership and Development Program. The Academy is designed to cultivate young women’s skills in design thinking, entrepreneurial and business skills with workshops and programs to set them up for success now and beyond.

Switch it up and trade your playlists for podcasts. We like Secrets of a Self-Starterlady-brains and Fierce Girls for inspiration. Our favourite part is always hearing about the mistakes people have made on their journey and how they’ve not only learnt from them, but grown and thrived.

Host a brainstorming session for your friends! Gather some snacks and BFFs then write down ALL your ideas for a business (bad ones too). Everyone’s minds are a little different, and having input from others is often the best way to explore ideas you wouldn’t have come up with yourself.

Bring your vision to life – lose yourself in Pinterest and create a vision board for your business or social enterprise

Jump onto Canva and create some branding elements for your business or social enterprise.

Find out what makes you a superhero with VIA Character Strengths. It’s like discovering your secret powers for being an awesome entrepreneur (and all-round successful human)

Visit your local library – libraries are a great place to get inspired. Venture to a section of the library you’d typically overlook, choose a book and explore a few pages. Embrace the unexpected and see what ideas float to the top.

Discover the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 goals are a great starting point when looking to create initiatives that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. 

Book in a stall at your local market and sell those clothes/toys/books you don’t use anymore. Use the money you make to invest in getting your new business off the ground (and use all the skills you’ve learnt to set your market stall up for success).

Jump into the ‘Shark Tank’! Start practicing your business pitch (super-helpful videos here) and set a date for when you will pitch to your family friends. It might be scary, but stepping outside your comfort zone is how you’ll improve and grow. Don’t forget to ask for feedback.

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