Strictly speaking, owning a business is all it takes to be an entrepreneur. However, the road to entrepreneurship can be a long and treacherous road filled with detours, roadblocks, and dead ends. Sleepless nights and plans that don’t work out can become the new norm in a person’s life.

For those discouraged by those sentences, don’t be an entrepreneur. It’s not for everyone. In fact, thousands of people try to become entrepreneurs. Many fail. But for those who’ve read those above sentences and don’t feel discouraged, venture forwards. However, not being discouraged doesn’t mean you’re immune from being doubtful.

Hopefully, the following list will turn that doubt into inspiration. Entrepreneurship can take many forms, and these young entrepreneurs took their business plans and made them a reality, often without even realizing it. So join us on this journey as we look into six of the youngest and most successful entrepreneurs to date.

Robert Nay

Company: Nay Games

Age: 14

Robert Nay head shot

On average, a mobile game receives a few hundred downloads in its lifetime. However, Robert Nay’s first game, Bubble Ball, was downloaded more than two million times within the first two weeks of its launch, kicking “Angry Birds” out of its number one spot for being the most downloaded free game on the Apple app store.

This was an impressive feat considering that Robert Nay was only fourteen years old. The road to success wasn’t easy though. The game required producing over four-thousand individual lines of code and input from his friends and peers before it hit the app store. It goes to show that every success story requires some failures beforehand, even for a fourteen year old entrepreneur!

Even as the public waits with bated breath for what will happen to Robert once he graduates high school, Robert isn’t finished. Currently, he’s putting his efforts behind his new mobile game development company, Utah-based Nay Games. 

Farrhad Acidwalla

Company: Rockstah Media

Age: 13

Farrhad Acidwalla in a white collared shirt

Farrhad Acidwalla is a twenty-seven year old Indian entrepreneur, investor, and 3-time TEDx speaker. However, he didn’t come out of the blue.

Fourteen years ago, at the age of thirteen, Farrhad built an online community devoted to aviation and aero-modeling from the ground up. After a few months and ten dollars spent, he sold the community to a fan for $1,200. An impressive feat, but he wasn’t finished there.

Determined to prove that he was just getting started,, Farrhad put four hundred dollars into Rockstah Media at the age of seventeen. The company is an international, award-winning agency focusing on branding, marketing and web development in Maharashtra, India. Farrhad is estimated to be worth about four million dollars.

Ollie Forsyth

Company: Ollie’s Shop

Age: 13

Ollie Forsyth head shot

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Many have heard this saying, but few lived by it. One person who does is Richard Branson, a British businessman, investor, author, and philanthropist. However, success didn’t come to Branson easily, having been relentlessly bullied and called ‘lazy’ by students and teachers alike who either didn’t or care to understand his dyslexia.

Inspired by Branson’s story, Ollie Forsyth took to the stage. He, too, has dyslexia but, unlike Branson, found success at a young age. At only thirteen years old, Ollie created Ollie’s Shop, an online gift shop for teenagers, three years younger than his hero.

The online gift boutique sells trendy jeweled bracelets, novelty cufflinks, leather belts and wallets, and other novelty items. After making over three thousand dollars in his first three months, Ollie knew he had something.

With a thriving shop, Ollie has used his profits to establish a charity to help young entrepreneurs start their own businesses while still in school. It just goes to show that you should never doubt an entrepreneur!

Leanna Archer

Company: Founder of Leanna’s Essentials

Age: 9

Leanna Archer head shot

At nine years old, Leanna Archer discovered her secret to success in her great-grandmother’s hair product recipe, and after receiving compliments for how good her hair looked, knew she had something.

With an amazing, all-natural secret recipe, Leanna knew she wanted to make it big. However, her pathway to entrepreneurship was rocky. Still,you can fail as much as you need because you only need to find success once. She started Leanna’s Essentials at the age of nine. At the age of 13, she got to ring the NASDAQ opening bell on Wall Street

Now in her twenties, Leanna’s Essentials has grown into a successful company that has given Leanna a net worth of $5 million. She’s been included on the Janet Jackson “20 under 20 Honoree,” and honored on BET’s Black Girls Rock award show in 2011, and has been a recipient of the 2015 Caribbean Life Impact Award.

Not letting her success go to waste, Leanna went back to her roots. With her family from Haiti, Leanna founded the Leanna Archer Education Foundation. The organization is dedicated to providing three meals a day and education to nearly two hundred children in Haiti, with a mission to give children the tools to succeed.

Mikaila Ulmer

Company: BeeSweet Lemonade

Age: 8

Mikaila Ulmer holding her book titled "Bee Fearless"

It’s an old adage that if a child wants to make money, they should set up a lemonade stand. Well, this eight-year-old decided to make a lemonade empire and succeeded.

She got her start, though, in an unusual way. At four years old, she was stung by bees twice in the same week. Her parents saw that she was gripped with fear, so they encouraged her to research bees to understand more about them. Her research showed that bees are excellent pollinators, they help the environment, and they are steadily dying off.

Deciding to raise money to help the bees, Mikaila Ulmer put her research skills to the test and set up a lemonade stand. Using an old lemonade recipe from her great-grandmother’s cookbook, Mikaila added one additional ingredient—honey—and got to work.

Two years later, and at ten years old, Mikaila is the founder and CEO of BeeSweet Lemonade, a company with thirty-two stores across four states. She donates a percentage of her profits to charity.

The company has sold over 140,000 bottles, and Mikaila continues her research: figuring out how much bottles should cost, how much the margins should be, and much more. It just goes to show that even with a successful company entrepreneurs always need to be researching, researching, researching.

Alina Morse

Company: Zollicandy

Age: 7

Alina Morse wearing a pink dress and holding a lollipop on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine

Who doesn’t love lollipops? They’re sweet, crunchy, and come bitesize. The only problem is that they’re terribly fattening, being candy and all. What to do?

At seven years old, Alina Morse found a solution. With savings from her grandparents, Alina set out to make sugar-free lollipops. Thus the world was introduced to Zollipops; sugar-free lollipops that are just fine for every tooth, even the sweetest one. With a 100% natural and vegan recipe, the treats are sweetened with xylitol, maltitol syrup, beetroot juice, and stevia.

Not finished there, Alina took her savings and began selling her Zollipops online and in stores. Seizing an opportunity here, Alina created Zolli Candy. She started crafting hard candy called Zolli Drops and taffy called Zaffi Taffy. Her candy has generated over six million dollars in sales, and she’s managed to get an invitation to the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama–twice!

From Robert to Alina, it’s as plain as day that sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones.

Sources

Photo by Mahmud Ahsan on Unsplash

Photo of Robert Nay

Photo of Farrhad Acidwalla

Photo of Ollie Forsyth

Photo of Leanna Archer

Photo of Mikaila Ulmer

Photo of Alina Morse

Leave a Reply