Successful young entrepreneurs generally have a few things in common. Starting a business that succeeds takes time, careful planning, resourcefulness and passion. Homeschooling teenage entrepreneurs allows them to follow their dreams while learning real business skills. Each state has some sort of homeschooling provision that allows homeschoolers to get a high school diploma, so parents who wonder about their teen’s future don’t need to be concerned that they won’t graduate.
The educational benefits of running a business are unparalleled. Instead of working practice assignments in an algebra textbook, students could be doing real life algebra such as computing the potential increase or decrease in profit percentage based on controllable variables. Communicating with vendors and clients, writing a business plan, completing legal forms for business licenses, filling out tax forms, applying for grants and creating advertising materials are all real-life applications of the things that schools should be teaching these teenage entrepreneurs. Without a doubt, there are tons of useful and productive life skills to be learned by running a business, that the average high school curriculum can’t touch.
Free Coaching for Young Business Owners
The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is an organization that exists to help old and young entrepreneurs find resources and make decisions while they’re starting a business. In most communities, young business owners just need to call and make an appointment with a SCORE volunteer and be mentored by someone who has experienced success and is making it his goal to guide others.
Young Entrepreneurs Association
The Young Entrepreneurs Association offers free downloadable lesson plans in accounting, business and marketing ethics, global currency exchange and other topics of relevance to teens starting their own business. The accounting lesson plan, however, is designed to “teach the importance of having reliable accountants” and offers basically no help for teens wishing to keep track of their own finances. Instead, try resources made for adults that aren’t “dumbed down” – like those available at Entrepreneur.com
Homeschooling High School
Starting a business consumes the energy and attention of any entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs eat, sleep and breathe their business. It’s a good thing. Many states and alternative learning programs allow for high school credit to be given based upon life experiences. Community colleges can do the same thing, and when life experience credits have been used up, the real-life skills that they’ve learned can be used to study for a CLEP or DANTE exam, so they can skip the course.
There are other organizations and associations for business owners of all ages. SCORE has created a very helpful resource page for young entrepreneurs. Don’t overlook those intended for adults. Successful young entrepreneurs need all the help they can get. Resourcefulness, the desire to succeed and free time like homeschooling high school can provide are characteristics that lend themselves well to starting a business at any age. Shonika Proctor, Teen Business Coach, says that the behavior characteristics adults get upset about the most are the ones that will make your teen a success in business.