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Blog » Business Tips » The Ultimate Guide to Teen Entrepreneurship: 20 Small Business Ideas for High Schoolers

The Ultimate Guide to Teen Entrepreneurship: 20 Small Business Ideas for High Schoolers

Teen Entrepreneurship

Did you know that teenagers between 15 and 19 constitute up to 18% of all summertime hirings? While that may sound absolutely insane, there are even more youngsters who would instead like to kickstart their own business instead of working for someone else. As per a 2022 report by CNBC, more than 60% of US teens aged between 13 and 17 are more interested in entrepreneurship than a 9 to 5 job.

While social media influencers and celebrities inspire these teens to turn to entrepreneurship, many of them, in fact, pick part-time businesses along with their studies. Want to earn an extra $500, here is a few places to get started.

In this article, we will discuss some top small business ideas that can help high schoolers earn substantial money.

Why start entrepreneurship so young?

Entrepreneurial skills are not something that an individual can learn overnight. It requires discipline, the right attitude, and perseverance above all. That’s why, as of March 2021, only 80% of the startups could make it past the one-year mark. So, when someone starts entrepreneurship as early as during their teenage years, they could reap several benefits.

  • Nurturing creativity and innovative ideas.
  • Fostering a culture of thinking outside the box and developing unique solutions to everyday challenges
  • Teenage entrepreneurship offers invaluable hands-on learning experiences.
  • Take charge of their own ventures, make autonomous decisions, and face real-world challenges.
  • Teenage entrepreneurs learn the value of hard work, perseverance, and balancing their entrepreneurial pursuits with their academic responsibilities.
  • They better understand money management, financial planning, and the importance of saving and investing.
  • Entrepreneurship fosters a resilient mindset that allows them to overcome obstacles, adapt to change, and continuously strive for personal and professional development.

Top Business Ideas for high schoolers

Here are some ideas you can work with.

Babysitting for Neighbors or Relatives

Embarking on the journey of entrepreneurship doesn’t always require elaborate setups. High schoolers can kick-start their business dreams by offering babysitting services to neighbors and relatives. Babysitting allows them to earn some extra cash and nurtures valuable skills like responsibility and time management. By offering trustworthy and reliable childcare, young entrepreneurs can build a solid reputation in their community while providing peace of mind to busy parents.

Offering Tuition to Younger Kids

High schoolers who excel in academics can leverage their knowledge and expertise by offering tuition to younger kids. Whether it’s math, science, or language skills, quality tutoring is always demanded. By designing engaging lesson plans and delivering personalized guidance, these young tutors can help struggling students develop their leadership and communication skills, setting a solid foundation for their future endeavors.

Selling Print-on-Demand Merchandise

In the age of creativity and personalization, selling print-on-demand merchandise can be an exciting business venture for high schoolers. With platforms like Etsy or Redbubble, young entrepreneurs can design and sell custom-made t-shirts, phone cases, stickers, and more. By leveraging their artistic talents and embracing their unique style, they can attract customers who resonate with their creations while learning about marketing, customer service, and e-commerce.

Working with Small Neighborhood Gigs

High schoolers can tap into the local community’s needs by offering their services for small neighborhood gigs. Whether pet sitting, lawn mowing, house cleaning, or running errands, there are many opportunities to provide assistance and earn money. By being reliable and responsible and delivering excellent service, these young entrepreneurs can establish strong connections within their community, gaining valuable experience in entrepreneurship and customer relations.

Creating Online Content

With the rise of digital platforms and social media, high schoolers can capitalize on their passion for creating online content. They can share their knowledge, skills, or experiences with a broader audience by posting Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, or making Spotify podcasts. By consistently producing quality content and engaging with their followers, young content creators can grow their online presence, attract sponsorship opportunities, and even monetize their channels while honing their creativity and communication skills.

Make and sell handmade goods:

You can use your creativity and turn it into a profitable business by making and selling handmade goods. Whether it’s unique jewelry, handcrafted candles, or personalized artwork, there is a market for one-of-a-kind creations. Use your artistic skills, create a brand, and showcase your products at local craft fairs or online platforms. With the right marketing strategy and a passion for crafting, you can transform your hobby into a thriving business while sharing your artistry with the world.

Run a pet care business

Starting a pet care business can also combine your love for animals and entrepreneurship. Offer services like dog walking, pet sitting, or grooming to busy pet owners in your community and build a reputation for reliability, care, and exceptional service. With dedication and genuine affection for animals, you can provide peace of mind to pet owners while earning an income doing something you genuinely enjoy.

Start a YouTube channel

As of May 2022, 96% of the Gen-Z population had a YouTube account, making it an excellent platform for generating revenues. So, if you are passionate about creating videos and connecting with people, starting a YouTube channel can be a rewarding business idea. Identify your niche, engage with your audience, collaborate with other YouTubers, and optimize your channel for growth. With dedication, unique content, and a captivating personality, you can build a loyal following and monetize your channel through ads, sponsorships, and merchandise.

Learn and design websites

In today’s digital age, web design skills are in high demand. You can also take advantage of this opportunity by learning web design and offering your services to businesses and individuals needing an online presence. You may need to learn coding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and familiarize yourself with popular website builders and platforms. As businesses continue to go digital, your web design skills can open doors to a successful freelance career.

Sell used books

If you’re a book lover with a talent for spotting hidden literary gems, consider starting a used book business. Collect secondhand books from thrift stores, garage sales, or online marketplaces, and create an inventory of diverse titles and genres. You can set up an online store or sell at local book fairs to reach a wider audience. By curating a collection of pre-loved books, you can help readers discover new stories while turning your passion for literature into a profitable venture.

Resell Websites

Have you ever considered turning your tech-savvy skills into a profitable venture? Reselling websites can be a lucrative business idea for high schoolers. With a keen eye for design and a knack for marketing, you can acquire pre-built websites and sell them at a premium. With the growing demand for online presence, you can earn by helping businesses establish their digital footprint

Resell Goods

Reselling goods is a great business idea that doesn’t require extensive capital or inventory management. High schoolers can leverage online platforms to source trending products at wholesale prices and resell them at a markup. With trendy fashion accessories and unique gadgets, new ventures have endless possibilities. You can get creative and become a savvy entrepreneur in the world of e-commerce. 

Content Writing Services

In 2022, 60 million people in the US were freelancing. So, if you have a way with words, you can use your talent to work as a freelance content writer. High schoolers can become part of the booming digital marketing industry by providing content writing services. You can help businesses enhance their online presence through engaging blog posts, website copy, and social media content. 

Pool Cleaning Services

High schoolers residing in areas with a significant number of swimming pools can provide pool cleaning services. With a few essential tools and knowledge about pool maintenance, you can offer your services to homeowners and establishments. Ensure crystal-clear waters, proper chemical balance, and pristine pool areas to make a handsome earning in your spare time!

Transcription & Translation Services

You can also consider offering transcription and translation services. If you are proficient in multiple languages, you can cater to individuals and businesses in need of accurate transcriptions or translations. Whether converting audio recordings into written documents or bridging language gaps, your linguistic skills can open doors to various industries. 


Blogging is an incredible business idea for high schoolers with a knack for writing and a passion for sharing their thoughts with the world. It provides a platform to express creativity, showcase expertise, and even earn extra income. By creating engaging content and attracting a loyal audience; young bloggers can monetize their blogs through ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate marketing.

Baking Business

Starting a baking business can be a delicious opportunity for high schoolers having a passion for baking. The possibilities are endless, from mouth-watering cakes and pastries to delectable cookies and cupcakes. Budding young bakers can make good money by catering to events, selling their goodies at local markets, or taking custom orders. 

Handmade Jewelry and Home Decoration Items

Crafty high schoolers with a flair for design can explore the world of handmade jewelry and home decoration items. With trendy bracelets and necklaces, beautiful wall hangings, or unique planters, the market for handmade crafts is thriving on platforms like Etsy. By utilizing various materials and techniques, young artisans can earn by creating one-of-a-kind pieces that appeal to a niche audience. 

Social Media Marketing

According to a Forbes report, 4.9 people worldwide are on one or the other social media platform. High schoolers with a keen understanding of social media platforms can capitalize on this demand by offering social media marketing services. Young marketers can earn while learning digital marketing prospects by helping businesses build an online presence, curate engaging content, and reach their target audience.

House & Cleaning

High schoolers can also indulge in house cleaning services in their local communities. By offering reliable and thorough cleaning services, young entrepreneurs can assist busy homeowners in maintaining a tidy and organized living space. They can offer services like dusting, vacuuming, organizing, and decluttering to earn extra pocket money. 



How can high school students balance their academics and small business?

High school students must strike a delicate balance between academics and their entrepreneurial goals. It involves effective time management, prioritizing tasks, and seeking support from teachers, parents, and mentors. By allocating dedicated time slots for their studies and business activities, students can enjoy an exciting entrepreneurship journey while maintaining academic excellence.

Are there any legal requirements or permits necessary for high school students to start a small business?

High school students venturing into small businesses need to familiarize themselves with the legal requirements and permits. Depending on the type of business, students may need to register their business name, obtain necessary licenses, and comply with local regulations. Conducting thorough research, seeking guidance from legal professionals, and consulting with relevant authorities can ensure a smooth and lawful start to their business.

What challenges may high school students face when starting a small business?

High school students who want to start a small business may encounter challenges along the way. These include limited resources, time constraints, competition, and balancing multiple responsibilities. However, by embracing resilience, creativity, and a growth mindset, students can transform these obstacles into valuable learning experiences and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

What potential risks should high school students be aware of when starting a small business?

School students must be aware of the potential risks of starting a small business. Some top risks are financial losses, lack of experience, market volatility, and potential legal liabilities. But with careful planning and seeking mentorship, students can evade these risks and increase their chances of success while safeguarding their well-being.

Do high school students have to pay taxes for their earnings through a small business?

Students starting small businesses should also be aware of their tax obligations. Earnings from a small business are generally subject to taxation, and students may need to report their income and comply with local tax regulations. Seeking guidance from a qualified accountant or tax professional can help students understand their tax obligations.


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