The Best Age to Start and Own a Business: These 12 Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs Know the Secret!
We know a lot of amazing young girl entrepreneurs. They became startup founders before they were even old enough to drive. They have a zest for the entrepreneurial life beyond the lemonade stand, and they know the answer to the question, ‘How old do you have to be to own a business?’ For them, anyone–no matter your background or how old you are–can launch a business. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of young girl bosses who can prove that age is just a number, especially in the business world. Get to know them, applaud their creativity and problem-solving skills, and support their companies. These young CEOs will amaze you and your budding entrepreneur!
Started a Business at 4 Years Old
Mikaila Ulmer of Me and the Bees Lemonade
Mikaila had her light-bulb moment for her lemonade business when bees stung her twice in one week! Naturally curious at four years old, she wondered if the bees’ honey could be added to her great grandmother’s flaxseed lemonade recipe. The added twist to the recipe worked! Me and the Bees Lemonade has been a hit ever since, and it’s available in popular grocery chains nationwide. Mikaila reached another milestone in 2020 when she turned 15 and wrote her first book, Bee Fearless, Dream Like a Kid, about her journey as a social entrepreneur who helps save the bees, one lemonade bottle at a time.
Started a Business at 5 Years Old
Asia Newson of Super Business Girl
Famously known as the youngest entrepreneur in Detroit, Asia started a candle-making and door-to-door candle-selling business when she was just five years old. Throughout her years as a young business owner, she has appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, MSNBC, NPR, America’s Got Talent, Disney World’s Cinderella Stage, ABC News, and 20/20 and talked about the many life-changing opportunities that entrepreneurship can offer kids. Now almost 17 years old, Asia has since expanded her startup to include entrepreneurship workshops and business training classes for tweens and teens.
Started a Business at 6 Years Old
Ava Dorsey of Ava’s Pet Palace
When Ava was six years old, she had a business idea. And it was an idea that matched her passion: Animals! This love for animals motivated Ava to develop Ava’s Pet Palace, which sells organic, all-natural food for dogs and cats. Thanks to social media, Ava fulfills close to 400 orders a month and ships her animal treats everywhere, even as far as New Zealand!
Started a Business at 7 Years Old
In 2012, 7-year-old Alina accompanied her dad to a bank, and one of the bank tellers gave her a lollipop. Alina knew that sweets were really unhealthy for the teeth, so she made it her business to come up with a candy that’s actually good for your teeth. Two years later, Alina started Zollipops, a sugar-free, healthy candy brand. Soon after, she became the youngest kidpreneur to grace the cover of Entrepreneur magazine and grew her candy empire to where it is today: One of the most successful companies in the country.
Started a Business at 8 Years Old
Emma Shelton of Earrings by Emma
Profiled in The Startup Squad Book #2: Face the Music, 12-year-old Emma has always had sensitive ears. So, what did she do when she wanted to wear earrings but couldn’t find hypoallergenic ones four years ago? She founded her own jewelry business and made irritation-free earrings! You can buy Emma’s safe-for-your-skin earrings at her virtual storefront or drop by any of the various socially-distanced vendor events around Oklahoma.
Started a Business at 9 Years Old
Samone McMichael of Simply Samone
From the young age of nine, Samone knew that she wanted to be like her family members–entrepreneurs. She also knew that she wanted to sell classy, sassy studs for any occasion. About to turn 11, Samone continues to grow her earrings business, Simply Samone, and plans to take it worldwide.
Started a Business at 10 Years Old
Chelsea Phaire of Chelsea’s Charity
Chelsea, 11, started Chelsea’s Charity a year after she received an art kit. She realized then that many kids, especially in foster homes, weren’t as lucky as her and didn’t have access to art and its creative healing power. Through her non-profit organization, Chelsea assembles art supplies and ships free art kits to hundreds of kids in need. As of early 2021, Chelsea’s Charity has distributed over 13,000 free art kits to children!
Started a Business at 11 Years Old
Simone Bridges of Goddess Food Factory
Now 15 years old, chef and baker Simone started Goddess Food Factory when she was 11. Through her startup, Simone shares her knowledge of the culinary arts and helps kids see the connection between STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, and mathematics) and baking. She hosts one-on-one baking sessions, sells merchandising on her online shop, and offers monthly subscription kits to young bakers and chefs everywhere.
Started a Business at 12 Years Old
Katie Vonder Haar and Hailey Hertzman of Ooh La Lemon
When best friends Katie and Hailey were 12 years old, they joined the 2017 Lemonade Day National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year contest. When their lemonade stand won the grand prize, they knew they were destined to become teen entrepreneurs. To keep their entrepreneurial spirit alive, the besties turned their award-winning startup into a gift shop that appeals to everyone who loves fruit-designed trinkets and accessories.
Started a Business at 13 Years Old
Rachel Zietz of Gladiator Lacrosse
Rachel started Gladiator Lacrosse in 2013 after an expensive piece of lacrosse equipment broke after a routine backyard practice. She decided right there and then that she had to come up with a more durable, more affordable line of lacrosse gear. Luckily for Rachel, she found a factory that allowed her to manufacture the lacrosse gear herself. With other manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors out of the picture, Rachel was able to cut down on costs and pass the savings onto her customers.
Started a Business at 14 Years Old
Bella Weems-Lambert of Origami Owl
It all started with a dream car. And $350 in babysitting money. Bella, 14 at the time, knew her babysitting savings were not enough for her dream car, so she shifted gears and set her sights on something bigger. She started a jewelry company, Origami Owl, which sells custom jewelry and customizable lockets with charms.
Started a Business at 15 Years Old
Niki Vilas Boas and Becca Segal of Wotter
Niki and Becca, both 19-year-old swimmers from North Carolina, started a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 with a shared goal in mind: Empower more female athletes. Before 2017, there were only unisex swim parkas available in the market. But these unisex-only parkas were designed to accommodate the physique of male swimmers better. Enter Wotter, Niki and Becca’s made-for-girls, made-by-girls swim parka. This “Cloak of Confidence” comes with thoughtful features that are female-friendly and delivers warmth and comfort out of the water.
These 12 girlpreneurs sure know how to rise above entrepreneurial stereotypes and break down age barriers. They challenge limiting beliefs that only people of a certain age can start or own a business. They also confirm that the drive and confidence to act on one’s passions and begin something can come at any age.
Is your girl eager to start something of her own? Besides taking inspiration from these girls and their respective startup stories, she can look to The Startup Squad books for a refreshing take on the power of friendship and entrepreneurship. Your aspiring startup founder can also read our blog for fun business ideas and business basics. Let us know how it goes on our Instagram or Facebook page! We’d love to welcome more young girl bosses to the empowering world of entrepreneurship.
NMPL- July 4, 2021 at 9:35 am
We live in a wonderful time when, despite the age, you can already become an entrepreneur and fulfill your dreams! The girls are great fellows, because they showed courage and intelligence, and most importantly their imagination. Each of the startups hooks with its own idea. It is striking how a business can start with a personal problem or love for something and grow bigger afterwards.