Inspired by Millennial role models like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Rent the Runway cofounders Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss, next-gen teens, wired from birth and known as Generation Z, are increasingly eyeing careers as entrepreneurs.
Yet “too much education is focused on becoming an employee,” explains business coach Dan Weedin, co-host of Shrimp Tank podcasts that help young entrepreneurs develop business ideas. “Parents can help,” he says. “Startups are risky and that’s why education, planning and preparation are important.”
Here’s how to bootstrap your youngster’s startup ambitions:
• Don’t skip the degree. “College and entrepreneurship are not mutually exclusive. You can do both, at the same time!” says Allison O’Kelly, who has three sons, age 13, 11 and 5. A Harvard MBA, O’Kelly launched her staffing firms, Mom Corps and Corps Team, after finding that high-profile jobs didn’t allow time for her family. “I would strongly encourage college, and a ‘first job’ and then I say go for it. It’s one of the only ways to have independent wealth and control over your schedule.”