Noa Mintz was 8 years old when she started running summer art classes for kids in 2008. Two years later, she founded a children’s party planning business. Now, she’s the founder of the very successful Nannies by Noa, a full-service childcare agency that serves families in New York City and the Hamptons. It’s basically the nanny-Uber of New York, and it landed her a spot on Fortune’s list of the 18 most innovative and ambitious teens under 18 years old.
Her story is one of many young entrepreneurs owners who are starting businesses, turning profits, and making a difference. This begs the question: what exactly is inspiring kids as young as 8 years old to become entrepreneurs?
For Mikaila Ulmer, the 12-year-old founder and CEO of Me & the Bees Lemonade, her parents played a huge role: “they always tell me to dream big and that I can do anything I want, so I translated that into Beelieve.” Mikaila sells lemonade that uses flaxseed and local honey as a sweetener. Her product is sold at both Whole Foods and Wegmans, with a portion of the profits going towards saving honeybees from extinction.
These kids are unstoppable, and, as 15-year-old Moziah “Mo” Bridges, founder of Mo’s Bows, will demonstrate, they’re pretty dapper as well. This 15-year-old entrepreneur signed a sponsorship deal in early 2017 with the NBA, giving his company the right to use NBA logos on their custom-designed bow ties.
Making sure to seal the deal, Moziah came to the meeting dressed to the nines. His Mom says he’s been dressing for success his whole life, “I’d say, ‘Mo, go and get dressed,’ and he would come completely dressed in a suit and tie.”
For Haile Thomas, founder of Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth (HAPPY), on the other hand, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. This 16-year-old’s business aims to improve the health and wellness of children by implementing programs that teach kids how to cook nutritious meals and promote physical activity.
These kids are the future of entrepreneurship in America. They encourage younger generations to make their dreams into realities, and make older generations feel a little inadequate and quite a bit inspired.