This post: 38 Business Ideas for Entrepreneurial Teens
Written By: Marybeth Bock & Nancy Reynolds
Langston Whitlock and Ja’Nese Jean… you may not have heard their names before. Both young teens at the time, Whitlock and Jean were volunteering at a local outreach event in Atlanta, Georgia when they came across a problem in their community.
“A homeless veteran man told us that many people in the area didn’t have transportation to get to medical appointments,” explains Langston. “Ja’Nese turned to me and said ‘Can you make an app for that?'”
That one observation turned their lives around. In 2018, Ja’Nese and Langston launched SafeTrip, a ridesharing app for the homeless and elderly that allows patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers to book non-emergency medical transport and emergency medical transport. Think Uber for ambulances. As of 2020, SafeTrip raised $2 million in funding and was bringing in $3.4 million in revenue.
This is just ONE of the many businesses launched by teenagers that are wildly successful. With a little ingenuity, grit, and tenacity, teenagers these days are able to launch thriving enterprises!
Maybe your teen will be the next successful young business owner! Check out these business ideas for entrepreneurial teens!
38 Business Ideas for Entrepreneurial Teens
Is your teen obsessed with making jewelry? Are they great at computer troubleshooting? Are they always coming up with ideas about how to make money or solve problems? You could have a future entrepreneur on your hands!
According to LinkedIn, here are a few signs that your teen might just be a budding entrepreneur:
- They experiment with making or building things and keep going until they get it right or until they get whatever they need to learn from the experiment.
- They think and dream BIG.
- They’re not afraid of hard work, but generally only when it is to achieve their specific goals. They tend to work smart since they don’t like wasting time.
- While they value learning, it may not necessarily be formal education in school. They learn what they need, when they need it, and in the most efficient and effective way possible.
- They like time and space to themselves. They enjoy having time to think, plan, and execute their ideas.
- They see opportunity all around them and embrace change. They are driven to innovate, build, develop, and drive their ideas forward.
If this sounds like YOUR teen, you may want to help them establish a plan to start their own business. And, nope… they’re not too young!
But before your teen jumps in all the way, it’s important to help them research local regulations, get any necessary permits, and consider liability issues when starting a business as a teenager. Also, consider seeking guidance and mentorship from an experienced entrepreneur or a local business organization that can offer your teen insight, direction, and tips along the way. Having a mentor who has been down the “business start-up” road before can help guide your teen and make their journey smoother.
38 Business Ideas for Entrepreneurial Teenagers
1. Photography or Videography
Most teens are undoubtedly skilled with smartphone cameras and photo/video editing apps. Whether they use their smartphone or splurge and invest in high-quality camera equipment, they can turn those skills into cash. They can find jobs taking pictures and/or videos at birthday or graduation parties, homecoming and prom events, high school senior photo shoots, kids’ sporting events, and other events.
2. Drone Videography
My good friend’s son started a side hustle where he creates exterior videos of homes realtors have listed for sale. Using a drone, he takes video of the entire exterior of properties (including aerial) and adds text and music. The realtors found having that marketing tool greatly increases foot traffic in the home. Realtors are paying my friend’s son $500 per video. (Here’s how to make sure it’s legal in your area.)
3. Academic Tutor
If your teen excels in a particular subject, they can offer tutoring services to younger students or to peers who need help with their homework and test preparation.
4. Social Media Management
Many businesses need help managing their social media accounts. Your teen can offer their expertise in social media to help a local, small business grow its online presence.
5. Baking or Cooking
Does your teen love to bake or cook? Have them consider selling their homemade treats or meals at local markets or to your friends and family. Specialty cakes and cupcakes are always items that people are looking to purchase for kids’ birthday parties and other celebratory events. (Check online for your state or county’s requirements for getting a food handler’s card.) ** My friend’s daughter made these cupcakes for an event in her neighborhood.
6. Car Washing/Detailing
This is an excellent neighborhood business for teens! They simply bring their cleaning supplies to people’s homes and clean/detail their cars in their driveway so they don’t have to take the time to drive to a carwash/detailing business. We have teens on our street who do this, and we are happy to pay them!
7. Lawn Care Maintenance/Landscaping
Mowing lawns, weeding gardens, seasonal cleanup, and basic landscaping services are in high demand, especially during the spring, summer, and fall. During the winter months, teens can shovel or blow snow as well.
8. Delivery/Errand Service
Teens can assist people with grocery shopping, running errands, or making deliveries in their community. Driving and picking up younger kids from school and activities is in high demand with working parents.
9. House Decluttering/Organization
Some people just love to declutter and organize, and this is a service many people will pay for. So if you have a teen who has a knack for organizing, this could be the perfect business for them. Seek out people who are planning to move, older folks who need assistance, and parents with young kids.
10. Handyman Services
Got a handy teen? They can offer basic handyman services such as assembling furniture, minor repairs, and painting.
11. Personal Shopping
The perfect business for a teen who can drive and loves to shop! This service is particularly helpful during the holidays for people who don’t have the time to shop or to pick up their orders from stores.
12. Tech Support
Many teens have the skills to offer tech support services for individuals or small businesses, helping them with computer troubleshooting or setting up devices. Have your teen advertise at a senior living community.
13. Create Custom Products
Teens can earn some decent money creating custom merchandise, like T-shirts, mugs, or stickers, and selling them online through platforms like Etsy or at local markets.
14. Event Planning
If your teen is good at organizing and planning, they might consider starting an event planning business for small gatherings or parties. This is another service that moms of young kids would be very interested in using. (Think birthday parties!)
15. Mother’s Helper/Babysitting
Babysitting can bring in a lot of money, and for teens, it’s a perfect gig because it’s flexible. A great idea is for a few teens to get together to form a co-op business so they can trade and share jobs to ensure someone is always available.
16. Fitness Coaching
Teens who are passionate about fitness can offer personal training or workout coaching services to individuals or small groups. They can also take it up a notch and become a certified personal trainer – here’s how!
17. Online Re-Selling
There are a lot of adults who have items to get rid of, but they don’t have the time or the understanding to successfully use resale apps like Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, or Thredup. This is a terrific job for teens who know how to list and “market” items so that they sell for the right price.
18. Graphic Design
If your teen has graphic design skills, they can offer their services to local businesses for creating signs, logos, posters, or promotional materials.
19. Content Creation
Is your teen skilled in creating content like videos, blogs, or podcasts? They can monetize that work through platforms like YouTube, their own blog, or Patreon.
20. Language Lessons
Teens who are fluent in a second language can offer language lessons or translation services.
21. Pet Care/Dog Walking Service
There are always people looking for pet services like dog walkers and poop-scoopers. If your teen is an animal lover, help them find ways to make money while enjoying time with animals.
22. Create Homemade Beauty Products
Teens can create and sell homemade beauty products like soaps, bath bombs, lip balms, and lotions. Holiday craft and farmers markets are great places to sell these products.
23. Holiday Decorator Helper
More and more people each year hire decorators to put up and take down their holiday décor and lights. If your teen has a flair for design, this is a fun way for them to make some money.
24. Music or Dance Lessons
A teen who’s been playing an instrument or has been in dance for a couple of years or more can easily teach the basics to someone else. Lessons can be taught in person or even online via Zoom or FaceTime.
25. Making/Selling Handmade Crafts
Crafty teens have a lot of options when it comes to turning a hobby into a small business. Have them set up a booth at a holiday market and sell their items such as jewelry, candles, pottery, artwork, knitted accessories, or even birdhouses like the picture below!
26. Makeup Artist
Teens seem to know all the latest makeup trends and tricks due to tutorials all over social media, so why not put that knowledge to good use and have them earn money doing makeup for their client’s special occasions?
When people leave town over spring break or the holidays they often want someone to look after their home, water their plants, etc. This is a great (and easy) job for teens who want to earn a bit of cash over the holidays.
28. Web Designer
If your teen knows how to create a website or make modifications to an existing website, this is a great business idea that will earn them money and allow them to finetune their skills.
Anyone can become a blogger. You just need to be a good writer and find a niche to write about. (How ’bout life as a teenager?) Teens can make money by building their online presence and selling advertising on their site, through affiliate marketing and selling sponsored posts and products.
30. Social Media Influencer
Teenagers are on their phones all the time anyway. Why not use that time and skills to build an online presence? Once established with a decent number of followers they can start earning money in a myriad of ways!
A podcast is an audio-only episodic series that typically features one or more hosts talking about a topic they’re passionate about. Curious about how podcasters make money? Check out this article in Forbes.
32. Create an App or Video Game
There are literally millions of apps and video games available for download, but it only takes ONE clever idea for your teen to make big bucks!
33. Create Digital Download Products
Sites like Etsy sell tons of digital download products from monthly calendars and to-do lists to social media templates and signage for framing. There’s BIG money for creative teens who are willing to put in the work to jumpstart their business.
34. Run a Summer Camp for Kids
Older teens in my neighborhood do this every summer and parents jump at the chance to have their younger kids occupied and happy doing fun things like finger painting and other crafts and fun outdoor games.
35. Pressure Washing
They’d need to invest in pressure washing equipment, but there can be good money in pressure washing for neighbors and friends. It’s time-consuming but, once you get the hang of it, it’s not difficult at all.
36. Greeting Card Writer
A cool business idea for creative teens is a greeting card creator. Your teen can sell their own greeting cards through sites like Shopify using the print-on-demand company Card Isle. They can also fill out this form to freelance for Hallmark.
37. Companion for the Elderly
Whether your teen sits with an elderly person and just watches television with them or plays a board game with them, far too many elderly people are lonely.
38. ANY Idea They’re Passionate About
Let your teen’s creative juices fly! Maybe they have a business idea no one has thought of yet!
Whether your entrepreneurial teen finds great success or not, the process of launching and running a small business will teach them valuable life skills like responsibility, perseverance, hard work, time management, and effective communication. Who knows? Maybe we’ll all see them on Shark Tank someday!
About Marybeth Bock:
Marybeth Bock, MPH, is a Mom to two young adults and one delightful hound dog. She has logged time as a military spouse, childbirth educator, college instructor, and freelance writer. She lives in Arizona and thoroughly enjoys research and writing – as long as iced coffee is involved. Her work can be found on numerous websites and in two books. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.