Young entrepreneurs are ushering in a new era where it’s never too early to start!
By Tang Hau In, Lam Yan Tung Jovie, Lo Cheuk Sze Miriam, Kwan Lauren Michelle, Lam Kwong Tat Marcus
Entrepreneurship is not an age-specific venture. From Baby Toon by Cassidy Crowly to Minomynas by Hillary Yip, the rise of youth entrepreneurs has captured the world’s attention, showcasing the talent and creativity of our future leaders. According to a survey, about 60% of teenagers are interested in starting their own business instead of working a traditional job. It also found that 45% of teens want to learn from current business owners, and 37% are interested in programs at or after school that teach entrepreneurship.
To inspire you, we’re sharing deeply inspiring and motivational stories of young entrepreneurs who have successfully turned their ideas into reality. These entrepreneurs refuse to give up despite challenges and setbacks. Once they recognize an opportunity to make their dream come true, they seize it—that’s the spirit of entrepreneurship.
Hillary Yip, founder of MinorMynas
Hong Kong-based Hillary Yip is a young female entrepreneur and current CEO of MinorMynas, an internet-based education platform. She founded the company when she was only 10, making her the world’s youngest major company owner.
Not only has Yip been featured by the BBC, CCTV, Yitiao, Yeti and the South China Morning Post, but she has also given presentations at TEDx stages, the HSBC Innocation Summit and the Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020, among others. In 2016, she won first place and Best Business awards in the AIA Emerging Entrepreneur Challenge.
“My vision with MinorMynas is to connect the world through kids, letting us learn together as a community, making the world a better place,” said Yip in one of her interviews. On the reasons for her success, Hillary attributes it to her parents and mentors, who have been her biggest supporters. With a great support system, coupled with her strong ambition, inventive creativity and innovative mindset, she was able to pave her way into the path of educational technology.
Ryan Hickman, founder of Ryan’s Recycling
Ryan Hickman, the founder of Ryan’s Recycling, is yet another example of a roaring entrepreneur who defied all odds. At the tender age of 7, the conservationist established a business named Ryan’s Recycling Company.
“When I was 3, I was doing it mostly for the money because I didn’t know much about the environment. But when I was 5 or 6, I started to see it was helping the environment, so that’s what started to motivate me even more,” said Ryan in an interview with GreenMatters.
Having been recycling ferociously for nine years, Ryan and his company managed to attract the attention of celebrities, like Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Aniston, who helped him garner even more recognition at a much larger scale. To date, he has raised more than US$14,000 for the Pacific Marine Mammal Centre and assisted in recycling 1.6 million cans and bottles across the United States.
Turning 12 this year, Ryan is still working hard running his company and a nonprofit called Project 3R, which aims to teach and emphasize the value of recycling to the younger generation.
Cassidy Crowly, founder of The Baby Toon
Cassidy Crowly, the founder of The Baby Toon, is an 11-year-old entrepreneur who gained popularity after delivering one of the most impressive pitches on the American business reality show Shark Tank. Upon coming up with the idea to create a unique baby-feeding spoon at the age of 7, she sourced and manufactured her product and then launched it on her website—what a huge accomplishment!
Having created such a remarkable pitch on Shark Tank, she was able to supply to several local retailers, reflecting what this young entrepreneur is capable of. With her charming and witful personality, Cassidy made a deal with “The Queen of QVC”, Lori Greiner, who offered her US$50,000 for 50% of the company, helping the then 11-year-old entrepreneur embark on the road of entrepreneurship.
All over the world, young people are taking this chance to become entrepreneurs. It offers them an employment prospect, brushes up on their soft skills and gives them an edge in the highly competitive market. Unlike adults, they provide fresh perspectives with different beliefs and values than older generations. Who knows, their businesses might bring forth a good change in the world by generating creative, fresh innovations.
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Header image courtesy of Freepik.