When you’re a teenager aspiring to be an entrepreneur, it can be tough to get support for your innovations — whether financial or moral. Luckily, there are a number of companies that see the potential in young visionaries and provide them with the backing they need to thrive in the business world.
Take a look at the following six companies that are investing in and supporting teen entrepreneurs like you:
Perhaps best known for their commercial products, Procter & Gamble is also regarded as a major investor in innovations. When Juliette Brindak was 16, she presented her idea for a safe, supportive, and fun website where tween girls could interact. Procter & Gamble invested $15 million in her idea, and Brindak became the founder of Miss O and Friends.
With a mission to protect the future of small businesses, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation financially supports high school seniors who own and/or operate their own small businesses. Last year alone, the foundation awarded 100 teens a total of $145,000 in Young Entrepreneur Award Scholarships, with each award totaling anywhere from $1,000 to $15,000.
An international banking and financial services company based in Britain, Barclays has a hand in supporting youth business programs on a global scale. Of the many, Barclays works with youth Business International to help young entrepreneurs around the world. They are the lead partner of Global Entrepreneurship Week UK and Young Entrepreneur Awards, both of which promote and encourage entrepreneurship in young people.
At the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a select group of approximately 1,700 high school students from all over the world present their scientific innovations and compete for the chance to win more than $3 million dollars in prizes. The fair provides teen entrepreneurs with the chance to showcase their work and gain funding. One such example is Jack Andraka, who won $75,000 in 2012 for inventing a cheaper, faster, and more sensitive test for detecting pancreatic cancer in its early stages.
The Small Business Administration is a division of the United States government that offers a number of resources to small business owners. They provide specific support for young entrepreneurs, providing a free online course on starting a business, resources for loans and grants available to teens, and much more.
A popular competition for teen inventors and entrepreneurs, aged 13 to 18 who are looking for funding is Google’s Science Fair. There are a number of prizes granted by a number of companies, including the Scientific American, National Geographic, Lego Education, Virgin Galactic, and, of course, Google. Google awards a grand prize of $50,000 in scholarship funding.
As a teen entrepreneur, it’s easy to feel stuck when you need more support than friends and family can provide. While so many companies refuse to invest in ambitious youths, there are those that see you for your idea, not your age. Many times, all it takes is learning how to present yourself and your concepts in a clear, professional way. To learn how, attend Camp Inc. this summer, where you’ll acquire the skills you need to develop your ideas and successfully market yourself.