National Entrepreneurship Week: Encouraging the dreams of youthpreneurs

National Entrepreneurship Week reminds us that entrepreneurs arise from a diverse array of backgrounds. Having a vision, and then the passion and drive to see it come to fruition, can strike anyone no matter the age – that’s the true beauty of entrepreneurship. This includes youthpreneurs, or the young innovators and dreamers who represent the future of business.

Youthpreneurs are a growing phenomenon as more and more kids watch parents start and grow their own businesses. With the support of family, mentors and organizations specifically geared toward students – including DigiGirlz, a program for middle and high school girls to learn about technology, and Hour of Code, a global movement providing students access to computer science – our youngest entrepreneurs can gain the confidence and knowledge to turn their ideas into reality. ImagineCup is another strong example of how students can use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create solutions that shape how we live, work and play.

Below are just two of the many examples of youthpreneurs making a big impact in the small business community.

Me & the Bees youthpreneurs

After her parents encouraged her to enter a children’s business competition, Mikaila Ulmer found inspiration from an unlikely source – two bee stings. She began researching bees and their impact on our ecosystem, which gave her the idea to combine her great grandma’s lemonade recipe with a way to help support honeybees. At the age of four Ulmer created Me & The Bees Lemonade, a company that donates a portion of profits to organizations that are fighting to save honeybees. Today, the now 11-year old continues to run her successful business while juggling informational honeybee workshops and entrepreneurship panels with finishing her homework and playing with friends.

FeedMe

During a young entrepreneur event at the Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square (Bellevue, Wash.), two sisters teamed up to create an app that helps families manage chores, such as feeding the dog or changing its water. The sisters noticed their dog was gaining too much weight because no one in the family managed the feeding schedule. These girls observed a real-life problem, and created a viable solution with a little help from their local store.

Microsoft Store provides local communities with opportunities to get hands on with technology in fun and immersive ways. While in-store workshops across the country are for people of all ages, student-focused workshops provoke creative thinking, inspire problem solving and empower youth to translate classroom learnings into their everyday lives. For aspiring youthpreneurs interested in getting a head start on a business plan, look out for information on upcoming business workshops and more at your local Microsoft Store.

For more stories of young entrepreneurs from around the globe who have grown their seemingly simple ideas into businesses and social enterprises that span the world, read the Brilliant BusinessKids book from Rare Birds Founder Jo Burston.

National Entrepreneurship Week is in full swing! Remember to check WININBIZWEEK.com for updates and join the conversation on Twitter by following #WININBIZ.

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