"Age doesn't matter" is applicable nearly everywhere—almost like a broken record, so to speak. But clichéd as it may be, the truth that its compatibility across many topics is undeniable. For instance, many inspirational or business self-help articles use it to encourage older people to start a company; or perhaps they push young people to kickstart their lives early. So, proving its veracity is like telling us something that we already know. Thus, this article brings the conversation to the extreme. Here, we discuss remarkably young talents who opted to go "adulting" even before hitting 18. We then extract the business insights from CEOs relevant across all ages.
Expert Insight: Numbers reveal that the younger generations are 188% more likely to consider small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) formation. Out of this staggering number, 48% say their venture stems from the desire to bring their passion to the proverbial business table. Furthermore, their decisions are also widely influenced by wanting to dismantle the traditional hierarchical corporate workplace by creating a flat organizational structure.
Despite the facts, global surveys indicate that a fifth of the entire population is currently Not in Employment, Education, or Training (NEET). Regardless, the figures should not dissuade anyone from taking valuable business insights from the younger generations of CEOs. After all, unemployment is a reality brought about by a wide range of interconnected factors. UAE law firm Managing Director Abdulrahman Abounaja weighs in on the issue through an open letter to the youth:
"Another essential consideration in the youth's joblessness is the lack of opportunities. More specifically, the willful denial of opportunities for young professionals due to misinformed biases. We don't trust them enough."
Learning from the Youth
Without discrediting our social realities, we must recognize the youth sector's successes. And while we are working to curb the crisis of youth unemployment, we should also make the best out of the incredible achievements from the collective.
And what better way than to study insights from their experiences? Here are some budding entrepreneurs who went against the grain to stand above the statistics:
Social Awareness is Key
Starting as early as 11 and 13 years old, Sebastian and Brandon Martinez were already building their own company from the ground up. And quite literally, at that. Their creative socks business "Are You Kidding" not only elevates people's style, but it also champions the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund and Autism Speaks. With the brothers' social awareness despite their young age, many schools partnered with their company to provide socks for school fundraisers.
Expert Insight: Studies reveal that brands publicly showing a sense of purpose are more likely to gain broader and more loyal followers than others. In many cases, the purpose relates to a social condition, societal issue, or a specific demographic. Figures-wise, customers have four times increased likelihood to purchase from a socially responsible company. They are also six times more likely to protect the brand in moments of public disapproval. Furthermore, these brands enjoy 4.5 times more recommendations.
Welcome New Ideas
Just a sophomore in high school, Sanil Chawla founded Hack+. His startup initially was a web development venture aiming to earn from his hobby. However, after experiencing the endless red tape of establishing a business, especially as a minor, he focused his energy on helping other teens his age move past the confusing legal paperwork.
He discovered fiscal sponsorship and wanted to find a way to merge this new insight with his interest in coding. So, he developed a web-based automation tool for young people in need of funding. Hack+'s journey illustrates how the first step in business development is just that: a first step. You can always elevate it to serve a broader range of people with more meaningful solutions.
Expert Insight: Fiscal sponsorship is among the most popular ways to fund a startup. However, this is not the only path to financial assistance. There are a lot of ways to fund a business. And to ascertain which the best funding option is for your enterprise, it is always wise to consult an expert in company formation.
Find What's Missing by Looking
Demand drives the market. This is a given in the field of entrepreneurship, but what's not a given is the demand itself. For you to find the services or products that could potentially attract customers, it is imperative that you immediately start observing.
R.J. Duarte started grass cutting when he was just 8. Although he could triple his earnings yearly due to his work ethics, he knew something was missing—many lawns remain untended. So he partnered up with a friend during high school and started their own company called GreenWorx.
Eventually, he found that something was still amiss. The margin between income and labour is still somewhat uncomfortable. So, he took his talents higher by rebranding the entire company to service top-tier landscaping and maintenance clients. He now operates with four trucks and up to 15 crew members.
Expert Insight: Actively adapting your business operations to ever-changing socioeconomic factors would help your business comfortably grow in the evolving global market. Additionally, the periodic adjustments should be informed by proper research. Therefore, having a trusted consultant would help in creating and maintaining your business.
Expanding your business may seem daunting – and it is – but it is not impossible. In fact, it just requires a smart strategy, executed expertly.
And nine-year-old Moziah Bridges proved that age is not among the prerequisites of global expansion. With consistent support from his family, clever marketing, and banking on the personality and human touch of Mo's Bows, they were able to attain international recognition.
Age Doesn't Matter
Whether you are thinking it might be too late or too soon to start your own company, the insights from these young entrepreneurs prove a singular point: starting is never a matter of age. It all boils down to finding a purpose, executing it, improving it, and bringing it to the global market.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.