Being a young entrepreneur can be difficult. There are lots of things that are only open to legal adults, and there are even more things that you have to be over 21 to access or that you need to have an established credit history for. However, being an entrepreneur at a young age is not impossible, and the advantages that come from being digital natives at a time that you can do just about anything online can make all the difference.
Some of the obstacles young people will need to overcome in order to become entrepreneurs include:
- Age discrimination - stereotypes about young people being lazy and entitled are enough of a barrier, but there are also age restrictions on things like credit cards, loans, payment processing, and more
- Networking - most of the business world is set up for adults, and as a result many networking events are held at places that you have to be at least 21 to get into
- Work-Life Balance - Most young entrepreneurs still plan to attend school while they are working, which can make it difficult to find time for school and homework and even more difficult to find time for friends
- Rookie Mistakes - You might be tempted to hire your friends so you can have fun working together or to mix your personal and business finances, but don’t
- Feeling Isolated - you will need to be able to talk to others about your business plans to get feedback, but you may feel secretive or find that you aren’t taken seriously because you are young
There are also plenty of advantages of being a young entrepreneur. You don’t yet have much to lose, which can be a powerful tool that older entrepreneurs don’t have. You are less reluctant to try and use newer technologies, which older entrepreneurs may be hesitant to try. You are also completely free of the tethers that come from having learned “the right way” to do things, either through business school or through business experience, which frees you up to try completely new things.
Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of youth when being a young entrepreneur from this infographic. It may seem counter-intuitive to start a business with no experience or training, but some of the biggest businesses today started out that way. Start small and try new things and before you know it you could be the next Mark Zuckerberg!