Winter offers entrepreneurial opportunities to youth

Youth can find seasonal business ideas all around!

Even though summer is often the obvious season for teens to think about getting a part-time job, winter can also offer many prospects to youth with an entrepreneurial mindset. As most kids have some time off between semesters or for winter break, this can be an opportunity for them to work on a product, try out new entrepreneurial ideas or take advantage of the opportunities the weather affords.

If youth have been thinking about starting their own business, they may have ideas for a product but haven’t had time to work on it. Winter break is a great time to put together products (for instance, jewelry or pet accessories), work on a previously untested design or invention, or do some market research about the products they currently offer. Don’t forget if family members are enlisted to help, it should be agreed upon beforehand what kind of compensation they will receive!

For those youth who have already started their own businesses, winter break offers a nice chunk of time in order to evaluate where they are at and where they want to go. Market research is important both before selling a product, and then again after it has been selling for a while. Often surveys of potential customers can yield information not only on how to improve a current product, but also about other possible products or services they could offer. Youth can use this time to try out ideas on a small scale to see if they are viable and worthwhile.

Winter can also offer seasonal prospects for youth who can see business opportunities all around them. From shoveling snow to organizing holiday supplies, from child care or organizing youth activities during the school break to taking care of houseplants while owners are away on vacation, there are endless ideas for kids to start or enhance their business in the winter. For more ideas, check out the 4-H bookmark 50 Business Ideas for Kids, or the book Kidpreneur, written by Dallas Crilley, a young man who saw ideas all around him.

Whether a youth is already an entrepreneur or has just been thinking about it, this time of year can offer ideas, opportunities and time that could be scarce other times of year. Take advantage of this time and be creative! Budding entrepreneurs will also want to check out the 4-H programs that Michigan State University Extension offers, especially the upcoming workshop “Build Your Future: 4-H Entrepreneurship and Career Connections” offered the last weekend in January; contact your local MSU Extension office for more information and to register.

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