The 37 Greatest Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs

A kid can run a business. Happens all the time. And here’s something that may be a shocker for you – your kid can probably run a business too. Now you may be saying, “Look, Mike. My kids are busy with school and sports. They’re well taken care of, buddy. I’m not gonna burden them with the task of running a business in addition to everything else. As long as my kid gets into Cal Tech. . .” Uh huh.


Lemonade Stand Sign

Well, think for a minute about the kinds of habits and skills one would have to cultivate in order to run a business. Take problem-solving skills, for example. Good businesses are birthed from good ideas – innovative ways to solve a problem in the market, whether that’s providing refreshing drinks for thirsty travelers along Route 56, cleaning yards for busy two-income families or Smart Phone Demystification Services for empty-nesters. Business owners also have to plan, manage and monetize their time. They have to develop strategies and build relationships to help them get the best sources for their products and provide the best chance of generating positive word of mouth publicity. Business owners must maintain a sense of accountability. They have to produce quality goods and services consistently. No excuses. In order to sell, you need to communicate a certain level of confidence in yourself and your product. So we have problem-solving, planning and management, strategic thinking, relationship management, accountability, communication skills, self-confidence. A kid with that skill set can write her own ticket in life.

Here are a few business ideas for young entrepreneurs.

#1 Computer Repair Service

If you’ve got a young tech genius in your midst, a small computer repair service is simple as pie. Way back in 2010, 81% of American households already had either a laptop, desktop or handheld computer. I can only imagine it is way higher now.  So if your child seems to have a knack for all things tech, she may consider repairing computers for extra income. There’s flexibility in providing computer repair services these days. You can help her to expand her business by adding a computer shop that refurbishes used computers for resell online. Have her work remotely to provide people with help troubleshooting computer problems. Or even go old school with it and make house calls.

#2 Handmade Gifts

A young entrepreneurs handmade gift

Young people with a creative streak and an eye for pretty little things can earn extra money making homemade gifts. What’s a homemade gift? Just about anything qualifies. Quilts, tutus for the puppy, fresh-baked cookies, jarred vegan soup mixes, soaps. Handmade gifts are a great way to earn money during the holidays. Know what goes well with handmade gifts? Check out the book Creating Really Awesome Free Things, which when your kid sells them… won’t be free.

#3 Gift Wrapping Services

You know, some people simply have no gift wrapping talent. Then there are those who can wrap gifts so beautifully you hesitate to even tear the paper to get to the actual gift. In case you haven’t noticed, gift wrapping is a marketable skill, nearly indispensable during the holiday season. We’re not just talking foil paper and curly ribbons. Think about hand-painted wrapping paper or gift wrapping that expresses the purpose and theme of the gift itself.

#4 Investments and Passive Income

Sometimes a savings bond just isn’t cutting it. In those cases, if you can teach your kids the value of passive income, by all means, do so. Real estate in particular is one area wherein many parents have already invested their own money and time. Add the kids to the mix by cashing in their bonds and offering them equity in the property. Teach them how to manage the books, collect rent and order repairs. Prepare them for a future in ownership.

#5 Pet Sitting Services

Dog Sitting Service

A constant concern for pet owners who travel for business or who are planning a vacation is having a person or organization on-hand to care for their pet while they are away. Kids are great with animals and can, for short periods of time, serve as a fantastic and loving caretaker for pets by providing regular walking, feeding and grooming services right from the travelers home. If you want to get really serious, check out books on pet sitting businesses.

#6 Social Marketing

The world of internet marketing is about knowing what’s hot and telling people about it. Who is better suited to do both than a young entrepreneur? Kids are social media mavens. They engage one another. They inspire older people. Get them behind a cause or product and they will naturally create content that extols the virtues of whatever project grabs them. Like a fish in water. Not only can they draw others to their cause, but they can show others how to get the same results by properly using social media and internet marketing. Both businesses can generate consistent income.

#7 Car Washing

Kids Washing Car

We love our cars, don’t we? We need them, rely on them so we pamper them. We wash them. We clean them. I’ve even seen (and patronized) car spas. The hand car wash is a service that will never fade away.

#8 Cookie Monster

People LOVE cookies. And not just cookies, but cupcakes, zucchini bread, pound cakes and just about anything home-baked. When used as an income source, cookies and baked goods are easy to make, easy to transport and pretty easy to sell. Kids can learn to find the best quality ingredients at the cheapest price and come up with ways to streamline the production process so the business requires minimal time investment. Get a handful of good cookie recipes, some cute, inexpensive packaging (think cellophane, sandwich baggies and ribbons) and start churning out delicious treats that will help line your pockets.

#9 Device Set Up

If you’ve ever accompanied a small kid to the Apple store, you have probably witnessed the magic of watching a small child intuitively master a sophisticated gadget while you sit trying to figure out how you landed on the ESPN page… and how to get off. It’s almost as if they’re born with product manuals already downloaded into their little heads. And that, my friends, is a marketable skill. If you know a kid who seems to be a master at setting things up and getting devices to work, they could easily earn extra money by offering such a service to busy professionals, empty-nesters and other folks who may be tech-challenged.

#10 Fill a Need

The key to business is to find a need, fill it and monetize the service. Offer yard-cleaning services to people who don’t have the time or desire to do work outdoors, or online consulting services to help first-time eBay users navigate the auction site with confidence. Offer to do the dishes for a busy single mom who is working full time and going to school full time. If you can meet a need, you can earn an income.

#11 Jewelry Design

Many Bracelets

Kids who have an eye for fashion or a love for creative endeavors can find jewelry making a rewarding and profitable business. It doesn’t have to be complex pieces with semi-precious stones. Wooden beads, painted glass and hemp bracelets are hot sellers. Designed pieces may be sold online or at local trade shows and church bazaars.

#12 Artistry

In addition to jewelry and handcrafted soaps, young artists can sell a variety of creative pieces, from canvassed art work to hand-designed greeting cards. And don’t limit thinking to B2C goods and services. Think B2B as well. Logo design, brochure layouts and web design are all great ways for young people to leverage their creativity.

#13 Personnel Service

What if all the neighborhood kids were grouped according to ability and will? The mastermind behind such an organization could earn a pretty penny scouting and contracting out various small jobs. The neighborhood kids earn money doing quick jobs without having to go out and search for the work and the organizer earns a piece of the action.

#14 Greeting Cards

Homemade Greeting Card

Leverage the talents of several young people by letting them produce and sell hand-made greeting cards. Greeting cards generally employ several creative and technical skills – poetry, prose, visual art and layout. Whether one kid does it all or several kids work together to deliver the goods, a greeting card business in these days of e-cards, text and emails will be especially valuable around the holidays.

#15 Poop Handler

Yes, you read that right. Families with pets will often have poop in their yards. A smart kid with a Pooper Scooper and a compost heap can help turn messy yards into hard-earned cash by servicing pet owners with yard cleaning services.

# 16 Corner Store

Whether it’s a lemonade stand, fresh flowers, baked goods or snacks, the traditional ‘lemonade stand business model’ is proven to produce extra income so long as the products being vended are good enough to generate repeat business. There’s plenty of versatility and you can actually find pre-made lemonade stands online and at the local toy store.

#17 Gift Baskets

Assembling and designing gift baskets are a great way for kids to express their creative side while sharpening their ability to identify what the market wants and finding innovative ways to provide. The contents of a gift basket are as varied as the people who order them. Whether a child sells pre-made baskets or accepts orders for custom baskets, the business comes with natural busy seasons (Easter, Mother’s Day, Christmas) that coincide with school breaks. Bonus!

#18 Upcycling

Teach kids social entrepreneurship by letting them either repurpose found items or sell them to someone like an artist or other re-purposing professional (computer repair, upholstery shop, antique shop) who can reuse or refurbish them. Another idea is to start a neighborhood recycling center that can be run on the weekends from a local park or right from the family garage.

#19 Out with the Old

One thing about kids is they tend to grow quickly. Monetize that growth by selling off all used clothes, old bikes, toys and electronics that are no longer in use. Consider taking clothes to a consignment shop and selling old toys, electronics, furniture, etc. on or using online auction sites. As long as kids are growing and trends come and go, they will always have inventory to sell.

#20 Use the Allowance as Seed Money

In teaching kids to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, you can start by helping them to think of their allowance as seed money. All businesses need startup capital. Making it a habit to save some, spend some and invest some of their money is a great way to get them thinking of different ways to grow their income – whether through buying and selling on Ebay, investing in high-yield stock or using the money to buy inventory and supplies for business endeavors.

#21 Become an Online Personality

Fred Figglehorn

These days, we receive a significant portion of our daily information by blog. For kids who are social savvy and good communicators, maintaining a blog is a way to publish information, express individuality and even earn money by selling blog-related products and endorsing products that appeal to the blog’s readership.

#22 Writing Coach

IM speak has taken over the world. It’s good to be fluent in both American Standard English and text-talk. Throw in a little slang (the Urban Dictionary folks were all over that one) and you’ve got a winner. Kids who have advanced written communication skills can provide guidance to peers to help them conquer those academic papers without the use of text-talk. If you don’t know what IM is… you need a writing coach. (It means Instant Message).

#23 Party Animal

Teenage Clown

Or planner, or clown, or musician, or juggler, or entertainer – whatever floats your boat. Older kids remember what it was like to be a younger kid and are usually in tune enough to still know what makes little kids laugh. Party planning and entertainment is a huge responsibility, but for the right imaginative kid, parties amount to fun work. Going into the party entertainment business can help teach kids accountability, market research, planning and time management plus earn them a nice fee for their services.

#24 Candy Man

A quick trip to a discount wholesale club can turn any kid into a walking Sweet Shoppe. Let your kids test out there entrepreneurial legs by allowing them to sell snack-sized candies to their peers between classes or during recess at school. Be careful though. Some schools are very strict about such “enterprises.” Be sure to check first.

#25 Photography

For kids who love to be behind the camera, photography may be a great way to earn some extra money. Budding photographers can license their work online by setting up accounts with iStock, Getty Images, Flickr, Dreamstime and other photo-sharing platforms. Or, they can make prints of pictures and use them on greeting cards, posters or note cards along with an engaging story, poem or other bit of prose to go along with the image.

#26 Pimp my Ride

In this case, a “ride” is probably going to be a skateboard, pair of rollerblades or dirt bike, but the [niche] market still exists. A child with artistic abilities can leverage that imagination in a number of ways. Marketing and charging a fee for providing everything from doodles to full-blown inked illustrations on skateboards, skates and other personal property.

#27 Doggie Treats

If a kid doesn’t want to go the traditional chocolate chip cookie route, have him consider a doggie treat business. There are plenty of recipes available right online for dog bones, doggie cookies and other treats, along with the supplies needed to make a doggie treat business profitable and professional.

#28 Non-profit Work

Part of the beauty of childhood is its idealism. When you’re young, you are fully convinced you can take on the whole world. Teach your child to tap into that fire by encouraging her to get involved in a cause that she is passionate about. Most non-profits are run based on donations. Kids can learn fund raising resource allocation by working closely with a nonprofit… or even by starting their own.

#29 Problem Solving

For every problem there is a solution waiting to be found. The ability to identify problems and provide solutions to those problems is the core of marketability, whether in the job market or as an entrepreneur. Work with your kids to develop the habit of identifying problems. Together you can brainstorm ideas to find the best way to solve a problem. Once a solution is identified, figure out ways that solution can meet other needs and voids in a range of different markets. Good solutions are entrepreneurial opportunities.

#30 Online Store

With a web presence and a Paypal account, just about anyone can open an online store. Kids can find easy ways to set up websites and use social media to market comic books, clothes, pet toys, doggie treats, or whatever else can be bought and sold.

#31 How-To Videos

How-To videos are fun to watch and usually pretty engaging. When a child has a particular talent, hobby or passion, it’s actually fun for them to show others how to do it. Build a website that focuses on a particular activity and provide the how-to video for free to subscribers who opt-in to mailing lists. By promoting similar quality products (affiliate products), kids can earn extra income by talking about and doing what they love and probably would spend their time doing anyway for free.

#32 Garage Sales

We talked earlier about found items. There are probably enough items around the house that aren’t being used to have regularly-scheduled weekend garage sales. Kids don’t have to go far and they can acquire their inventory from deals they find at the local thrift store or even at other garage sales. As the kid gets the knack of running garage sales, he or she can extend their garage sale service to neighbors in the area and take a percentage of the total sales.

#33 Invent Something

Whether it’s a retractable stick to turn off the bedroom light at night after reading, or a contraption that keeps Lucky in the bathtub when it’s time for his weekly bath, kids are masters of invention. They imagine and re-imagine all kinds of household items. Help them to cultivate that creativity. Later, when they stumble onto something good, it may be time to look at patenting, mass producing and selling the invention.

#34 Out of the Mouths of Babes

Despite their relative inexperience with life, kids have a way of getting to the meat of an issue and offering their spin of simple wisdom that can both inspire and enrich life. Help them to turn their marvelous insights into cash by starting line of products – coffee mugs, t-shirts, note cards, etc. – that contain inspirational quotes.

#35 The Art Collector

Kids can collect art work from siblings, friends, cousins and even a few pieces they created themselves. Frame every piece and sell them locally at art shows, festivals, open air markets, garage sales and even online. Pay the original artist for their hard work and they will be inspired to produce more great work to sell.

#36 Clothing Swap

Have a well-connected teen rally the teen community and start a clothing swap where group members can come to exchange clothes with other members of the group. Charge a membership fee or a service fee per swapping session.

#37 Cleaning Service

Getting kids – especially younger kids – to clean their rooms to the satisfaction of mom and dad can be a challenge. But the process tends to go a lot faster when they have help. For a small fee, your kid may want to consider providing other families with a cleaning service that essentially assists household members with straightening up the house. They can market full cleaning services or just to stand in as an extra hand to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the customer to assist in cleaning. Either way can be quite profitable.

It’s never too early to groom a child to be an entrepreneur. The new economy is ripe with new business owners and first-time freelancers who have discovered the best way to increase their income is to fill voids in the market by leveraging hidden talents. Kids have talents as well. Whether you’re bringing up a toddler or [are being brought up by] a teenager, entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly valuable skill to have.




64 thoughts on “The 37 Greatest Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs”

  1. My first business (it lasted about 2 weeks), was renting cassette tapes for $1 per day. One guy had my tape of Def Leppard’s High ‘n Dry for two weeks and I tried to charge him $12. He couldn’t pay it so he threw out my tape. My business was sunk, because I couldn’t afford to buy more tapes.

      1. Clean out window wells, clean out gutters, get an extension brush and sweep down wasp nests and spider webs, pressure wash old fences and restain them, pressure wash trash cans, pressure wash patios and porches, sell concessions at kids sporting games (usually only possible if concession stand not available; I got kicked out of doing this when I was your age…I always ask forgiveness than permission…), lawnmower repair, yard cleanup (trim bushes, pick up poop, pull weeds, clean up people’s backyard junk pile (and sell the good stuff and recycle the scrappable stuff after), organize someone’s garage/shed, clean baseboards, clean windows (charge decently for high ones outside), repair window screens, install towel bars and curtain rods and blinds and minimal handyman stuff, wash cars, put up/takedown holiday decorations…make a business card and a free website. Go door to door to drum up business and offer general services (most profitable and your preferred) and then offer the card and mention the website has more of your general services and that you consider other services as needs arise. I paid kids ten bucks just to take my broken tile from a bathroom I was remodeling to th curb trash can one time; not because it was worth it, but because I wanted to pay them for being willing to go door to door to make money. Use your age to your advantage. Stay positive and get out there. If you need, do a few services for free in exchange for experience and testimonials. (They’ll often tip you anyhow…)

      2. Gain a skill, something somebody values eg web design, software design and invest the money you get into assets, real estates etc.

    1. My first biz was driveway sweeping. We’d show up at someone’s door and rap, “we are the driveway sweeping team, we’ll sweep your driveway nice and clean”. Worked like a charm 😉

    2. im 20. i started my first business selling bundle (preloved) tshirt from USA. The business first went well. But after 6-7 months later , im lost. haha

  2. My first business when I was a kid, was renting my Super Nintendo cartridges to friends, and letting them play the games in my house for something like 50 cents an hour.

  3. Awesome ideas. I think that kids naturally want to start their own businesses. Encouraging your child to create their own small business will go a long way to boost their confidence and help them become comfortable taking acceptable risks.

    For a great business plan for kids take a look at

  4. My 14 year old is talented in so many ways but decided to use her artistic ability and started to paint different items such as plates, in one case just a piece of wood, and finaly now painting chimneys of antiuqe lamps and clients love them. Kids today have some amazing talents.

      1. Ok I am getting pictures tonight!! Another great addition to what she is doing she has taken several old pieces of funiture she has purcahsed at auctions we go to weekly and turned a $5 investment into $30 plus. One was an antique makeup station, looked like a desk more than anything took a couple of the extra pieces off painted it and if you didnt know any better you would think it should of been a desk to begin with but she did a great job adding flowers and her own decorative touch. I will be posting pictures later. Oh since I buy and sell full time I also pay her to bid for me also. She studies and does research for me on items values and then when at the auction she does the actual bidding against some pretty heavy hitters. She picked up quckly and has purchased a couple thousand dollars worth of antiques and stuff.

  5. Great idea. Kids should be able to start their own businesses. If they like their business ideas, they can dream big. A lot of things can go right if a kid has his or her own business.

    1. I know I’m black and I asked my mother how to do braid hair in junior high. And my skills are incredible, I was braiding hair in high school and I made a lot of money only by box braids and cornrows I didn’t want to responsible for a bad perm. Anyway, when I went to college I did a lot of people hair. I made a lot of money now I teach people to how to braid hair I do private tutoring and plan to do seminars. Honestly, i work as a financial specialist but after I was introduced to my husband back then in 2014. He was a single father of a four-year-old girl five-year-old girl and one-year-old son. He was a great student, anyways we got married and its great in spring 2016. His first daughter Tiffany now she is 8 years old and Tia who is 7 years old now wants to know how to learn how to do hair. Perfect timing he is, I mean I’m having his second son so I’m happy. The girls want to each other hair and make money on the side.

  6. I love the ideas, but I’m still unsure of what kind of business to start for myself. I’m 14 and I want to start a business that can grow and maybe be successful. I’m thinking of starting the business with my 17 year old sister. Any Ideas?

  7. Hi Mike I am 15 from England, UK and I have set up a small business online and in school! I buy bundles of phone cases and sell one at a time on Ebay and publish the cases on Instagram where local people can see and buy (Meet in a public place)! I started 5 days ago and already made a profit of £40 (which is $58.71!!!)

    1. Nicely done Harrison. Stay with it for as many years as you can. I suspect you will make money, but at times will also loose it. The lessons you will gain are incalculable. And if you stick with it, you will have gained the best education in the world.

      1. wow that is pretty impressive! I used to live in England myself but that was 3 years ago.Hope the business is holding up

  8. Im 15 and Ive been buying and reselling farm animals since i was 9. I buy goats for cheap and either resell them for more or keep them for a year and sell the kids plus adult. I also raise and sell quail. I now want to switch to something new. Any ideas?

  9. I super love the ideas! But in our country, the Philippines, it’s kinda hard to do such businesses. I want some more advice about having my own business, I’m 15 and I really want to start my own. I’m planning on renting my books and selling my stuff toys. Any more ideas? Please? Thanks! Your reply will be a great help! 🙂

    1. You may want to consider starting a business that generates a steady income such as working in people’s lawns and mowing for them or taking leaves etc.. If you were wanting to start something bigger or if you wanted to grow into it by saving up money you could start a small business that serves good. I myself am an entrepreneur and I am only a teen. If you have any more questions just contact me and I can make it a little more personal.

  10. wow!!! thanks. this is really amazing. you know you cleared all my doubts that i was having.and i selected what i am going to do.thanks again from my whole heart you are really a fabulous person.

  11. I m 18 years old girl …and want to start a business ..which has minimum investment… (Related to any designing )…please suggest how should i proceed,as there is no one to guide me

    1. Hey! What are you passionate about? If you were going to make a million a year regardless of what you went to work for, what would you want to do for 40 hours a week?

    2. Try making custom party invitations or create advertisements for other peoples business. You can also create advertisements for local events.

  12. hi… neeshal and i am 17….i am very business minded and today ive watched a programme that inspired me to start up my own business so i was thinking that i could create my own makerspace club with teens round about my age that can also become young entreprenuers we can learn teach share ideas and help eachother become entreprenuers……do you think its a good idea

  13. I just started my own business, its a homemade / handmade pomade ( for healthy @ shinny @ strong hold fashion hair ) .. i just needed the natural ingredients like beeswax, coconut oil, etc. This year (2015) im 14 years old, and i sold out 40+ of my product ..

  14. hi, am 19 years old, i want to start a business with minimum investment, so can you help me? those ideas are great but wont do much in my country..

    1. I started my own business at 17 and it’s going rather well. It was a small investment that gave me a money back guarantee if it wasn’t for me, but I loved the outcome. I would love to educate you and give you some information to see if that’s something you’d like to pursue.

  15. Hi i am 17 years old and studying in +1 i want to start a bussiness and working on different ideasin India and my request to you is that can you guide me for the start up i dont know where how to start.

  16. hi,I live in Tanzania you gave great ideas but the problem is
    in Tanzania those jobs won’t pay so if u have some other great ideas please share them

  17. OMG i have no idea which one I should do1 We are doing entrepreneur homework at school and we have to invent something and show to the the class and have NO IDEA WHAT TO DO

  18. Hallo am from Kenya and am 19yrs old. I really want to start a job that i can earn income at the same time helping my people in eradicating poverty. Please help me with some business ideas that can be brought up in slam areas. Thank you.

    1. I don’t know a lot about Kenya but I think one idea could help those in need. Gather new or gently used clothes, shoes, accessories, etc from donations and sell them at a cheap price for those who can’t afford them normally. I hope that helps.

  19. Good morning. I am Magano, 22 years old and I am from Namibia. I am currently a final year Economics student at a local University. What business do you recommend for an economics student or graduate?

  20. Hi I’m a 17 year old girl interested in technology i have few scattered ideas but due to lack of resources + the place i live is very conservativw and does not allow young girls to move about for jobs. What should i do? Please help

  21. Hi Mr am vusi am an intreprenure I tried a barbershop wen I was 18 it broke because my equipment was stoled,bt I was a photographer since from grade 5 also my business broke also my equipment stoled n I lost all my customers den I found job bt my business wasn’t function well i was working weekend now I stated onother business of send hire n garden so am confused with one to van I choose day can be successfully

  22. My first business after earning technical certificate was selling services, repair and replace damaged lights for high and medium class families.. I own a small company of maintenance and repair of all technical related activities.. I was 18. But everything is possible only take initiative and set your goals..

  23. I am 12 years old and I have a friend who is 15 and started an entrepreneurial business by selling handmade candles!! The scents she has are amazing!!! They are even comparable to Yankee Candle scents. In the first two weeks she made about $250. It is going well so far, family and friends are super proud of her!!!

  24. I want to create a website which will help people choose best business ideas. We often have perfect ones but we end doing nothing. Not sure if it encourages people to share their ideas but im doing this 🙂

    1. Great i need i business idea too am a ugandan..just want one with a minimum investment as am still trying to get capital

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More of mike…

Have Mike Speak at your event

Read All of Mike’s amazing Books

Listen to Mike’s Podcast Right now

Join Profit First Professionals

…& Mike’s Books

Profit First


The Pumpkin Plan

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur