March 4, 2013

Tips on Encouraging Your Teenage Daughter to Become an Entrepreneur

I recently contributed a post to Vanessa Van Edwards Radical Parenting blog.  She entitled the post:How Do You Encourage Your Daughter to Be an Entrepreneur?  There are many ways to do so and actually it will vary with different countries.  When I wrote the post I was thinking about in the United States. A good portion of  parents in the U.S. are nervous about their teenage daughters seriously starting a business.  Etsy and eBay may not seem to them to be serious endeavors. Quite frankly that is not the case. Building websites, creating charitable projects, or designing jewelry do not always seem to be long-term serious endeavors until the “project” grows. Parents normally want their daughters to attend a four-year or community college for knowledge to attain a good job. Good jobs supposedly provide stability and security for the future.  

There are young women who began businesses while in high school ro help with their college tuition or make a difference with receiving a scholarship to college.  Some teenage girls began businesses as early as age 15 and later sold them for millions while in college.  Some of the girls had brothers as partners or a parent.  Whatever the case may be, the young women were majority owners of the businesses and made a difference in the business growth. Unfortunately the majority of young entrepreneurs are males who stepped out of their comfort zone to launch a business. 

What do parents do if neither one is an entrepreneur nor is there a family member? 

Without going into a lengthy blog post here are two suggestions:

  1. A part-time summer job or an internship with a start-up company.  In some cases even startup businesses will not hire teenagers under the age of 16 because of the teen’s maturity level.  Another option is for younger teenagers to work with a family friend or neighbor who is an entrepreneur or small business owner. The third option is for the older teenager to have a teacher give her class credit for a summer internship.  In the U.S.A. it is no longer legal for businesses to offer non-paid internships unless it is for class credit or part of a graduation requirement.  If the school has  Junior Achievement (JA), Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), or DECA  may we suggest encouraging your daughter to join one of them. There is a good chance an internship would be credible for them.
  2. Girls Scouts of the USA with their yearly cookie sales.  There are troops for the younger teenage girls all the way into college.  In fact the Girl Scouts have a cookie business program for their Cadette Scouts.  By following the cookie business guidelines found on the Girl Scout National web site the  girls learn how to create a business plan, learn financial literacy, record keeping, sales and customer service. Unfortunately what many people do not realize is between the 9th and 12th grades, girls lose interest in being a member of the Girl Scouts
  3. Another option I believe in is for teenage girls to attend entrepreneurial workshops and conferences design designed for female entrepreneurs. Girls learn differently than boys and by attending these types of programs they will learn from the female viewpoint.

Enjoy and look forward to hearing from you.

Sylvia RJ Scott

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