10 ideas for young entrepreneurs

Summer is a challenging time to occupy children who are too old to need full-time childcare, but too young to hold a “real” job. Instead of letting kids fill their hours playing video games, try encouraging them to try their hand at entrepreneurship. With a little supervision, your tween could earn a little cash as well as some valuable lessons about money management.

Following are 10 business ideas for your young entrepreneur to consider:

  1. Sell lemonade. No one can resist a lemonade stand on a hot summer day. Don’t forget to have the kids cover the cost of their expenses!
  2. Have a bake sale. If your kids like to cook, why not encourage them to share their talents? This could even be combined with #1 to create a full-service concession stand!
  3. Pet sit. Summer time is vacation time. With help, even younger kids can feed neighbors’ fish and cats.
  4. Babysit. Both boys and girls can earn money and experience by babysitting. Kids younger than 12 can get practice by being a mommy’s helper.
  5. Mow some lawns. Busy neighbors might welcome a little help with the lawn.  If there's an elderly neighbor in need of lawn help, encourage your child to volunteer his or her mowing services (and snow shoveling services in winter).
  6. Help with weeding. Who doesn’t need help with weeding? In fact, my very first “real” job was weeding the flower beds of a resort hotel.
  7. Be a camp counselor. Even tweens can get counselor experience by hosting a mini-camp for younger kids at their house or local park.
  8. Wash cars. Lend your driveway to a group of kids to hold a car wash. They’ll have a great time and you’ll end up with a sparkling clean car.
  9. Walk dogs. Walking is a great exercise for both kids and canines.
  10. Teach younger kids.  If your kids excels at school, he or she can tutor younger children and help get them up-to-speed before school starts. 

Allowing kids to earn money teaches them a lot of valuable lessons. In addition to learning the value of hard work, they’ll better understand the role of marketing and how to better manage time. Estimating income, managing costs, and even counting change are lessons that will benefit them for a lifetime.

Do you have additional ideas for entrepreneurial kids? If so, please share your thoughts through the comments section.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

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