Startups for teens — how teens in South Africa could benefit from parents who encourage their entrepreneurial ventures

Share these new ideas

I must say that growing up in a small coastal town didn’t give me too many opportunities to understand business, but I did have my own ways of making money from doing paper rounds, catching fish and selling them, and in those days selling my legal limit of crayfish to various customers. There were several other things I did, but these stand out as the most interesting ones. I wonder to what extent teenagers and especially those in their early teens are starting their own little startup businesses.

My enthusiasm for business started after I left a small coastal town and went to a big city. There I was able to meet with various top business people and through my work at the time was able to ask them many questions about all aspects of running a business and a big company. It was a very useful experience and some of those lessons that I learned way back then still stand out and have profited me throughout my life.

I’m really writing about this subject because I see teenagers with scarce job opportunities working in hardware stores as cashiers when they leave school or working in a sports club canteen or becoming extras for movie sets. Not that that is a bad thing, but they’re not starting their own ventures. So I thought I’d prepare a small list of ideas for parents that they could watch out for among their teenage children and perhaps encourage them.

Start-Up Ideas for Early Teenagers

Lawn Care Services: Offer to mow lawns, trim bushes, and weed gardens for neighbors.

Pet Sitting and Dog Walking: Take care of pets when owners are away or walk dogs after school.

Handmade Jewelry: Create and sell unique jewelry pieces online or at local markets.

Car Washing: Set up a mobile car wash service in your neighborhood.

Tutoring: Offer tutoring in subjects you excel in to younger students or peers.

Baking Business: Bake cookies, cupcakes, or cakes and sell them to friends, family, or at school events.

Social Media Management: Help local businesses manage their social media accounts.

Craft Kits: Create and sell craft kits with all the materials needed for a fun project.

Personalized Gifts: Make custom gifts like name plaques, decorated photo frames, or personalized T-shirts.

Fitness Classes: Offer fitness or dance classes for kids in your neighborhood or online.

Photography Services: Take photos for events like birthdays or family gatherings.

Recycling Service: Collect recyclables from neighbors and take them to recycling centers.

Custom Art: Paint or draw custom artwork and sell it online or at local art fairs.

House Cleaning: Offer basic house cleaning services like vacuuming, dusting, and organizing.

Gardening Services: Help neighbors plant flowers, vegetables, or maintain their gardens.

Babysitting: Offer babysitting services for families in your community.

Errand Running: Help busy neighbors by running errands like grocery shopping or picking up dry cleaning.

Event Planning: Plan and organize small events like birthday parties or school events.

Upcycling Projects: Turn old items into new, useful products and sell them.

Subscription Boxes: Create and sell monthly subscription boxes with themes like art supplies, snacks, or books.

YouTube Channel: Start a YouTube channel with content you’re passionate about, like gaming, crafts, or cooking.

Blogging: Start a blog on a topic you love and monetize it with ads or sponsored posts.

Car Detailing: Offer detailed car cleaning services, including vacuuming and waxing.

Fashion Design: Design and sell your own clothing or accessories.

Snack Stand: Set up a stand selling homemade snacks or lemonade in your neighborhood.

Elderly Assistance: Help elderly neighbors with tasks like grocery shopping, yard work, or tech setup.

Online Store: Sell products on platforms like Etsy, eBay, or Depop.

Video Editing: Edit videos for YouTubers or small businesses.

Handmade Soap and Candles: Make and sell your own soap and candles with unique scents.

Graphic Design: Offer to design logos, posters, or social media graphics for small businesses.

Decorating Services: Help people decorate for holidays or special events.

Book Club: Start a book club and charge a small fee for membership or organize book swaps.

Plant Care: Offer services to water and care for houseplants when people are on vacation.

Vintage Clothing Sales: Thrift and sell vintage clothes online or at local markets.

Toy Repair: Fix broken toys for kids in your neighborhood.

Podcasting: Start a podcast on topics you find interesting and build an audience.

These ideas can help you learn new skills, make some extra money, and have fun while doing it!

From my experience in business, I was able to understand that writing is so important for any type of business or any type of position in business. But how many have had a bad experience with English at school? I did, and after school, I was able to find people who could help me write better. As a writing consultant, I can help anyone with whatever writing they are doing if they are struggling to do so. Just let me know and reach out via email or any of the social media platforms I’m on.

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