The lemonade stand, that staple of summer business ventures, has helped industrious kids learn financial and social skills for generations. Social distancing and lingering questions about public health, however, may thwart budding business owners’ plans this year. Anna Leer, vice president of YouthBiz, a hands-on business basics program at the Young Americans Center for Financial Education (YACFE), offers these timely tips to kids hoping to earn money with their own startup this summer.
Try a business with social distance built-in. Lawn care, pet walking, grocery delivery, mask making, assembling to-go activity kits for families, and filming how-to classes online are creative, yet socially-responsible, options.
Adjust your current business practices. Accept PayPal or Venmo for products or services to reduce cash transactions. Deliver products to customers’ doorsteps to reduce in-person interaction.
Market creatively. Create a social media page or website to show off your products and services. Stream events to stay connected with your customers and let them know what you are up to. Offer YouTube tutorials on how you make your product or perform your service.
Gabe Nagel, 15-year-old owner of Gabe’s Bazaar, an online store, and Light CO2, a nonprofit helping teens fight climate change, says the Young Americans Center helped him build community and improve his business ideas.
“The only way you can get better at something is to practice,” he says. “Don’t get discouraged by the bumps and ‘failures’ along the way. There are always lessons to be learned.”
Enterprising Colorado kids can check out YACFE’s virtual programs, including the new YouthBiz Enterprise Society, a monthly subscription to interactive workshops and community with like-minded peers.