Anyone can become an entrepreneur and experience their own unique entrepreneurship journey. However, some teenagers do not believe that they have skills that are marketable, or an idea that they can turn into a business, which creates a barrier to entrepreneurship for them.
The first step on the journey towards becoming an entrepreneur is to look at your strengths and think about how those strengths might be assets to the business community.
I started studying music when I was about three years old. I studied piano, bass guitar, harp and flute over the years. An important thing to remember to succeed as an entrepreneur is that you must be passionate about what you’re doing. I realized I had a talent for music, and I decided to turn what I loved into a business. I work as a harpist and play at various events such as weddings, memorial services, and fundraisers.
Teenagers thinking about becoming entrepreneurs are going to face various challenges throughout their journey, but they just have to push past them by finding solutions one step at a time. Throughout my entrepreneurship journey, I have faced various challenges. A big challenge that I believe applies to everyone is marketing my business. I normally get gigs through other harpists in the area, but I’ve only had two that I brought in on my own. I have been able to get my name out by playing at various events which helps me to market my services. This is a challenge for me since I am not marketing business effectively.
Although it is an uphill climb, I have learned that entrepreneurs should take every opportunity they can to let people know about their business, build a network of connections and gain more experience. When opportunities arise, I think entrepreneurs should make sure to take advantage of them. Volunteering my services as a harpist helps me in many ways — it’s a way to advertise my services, gain experience, and build confidence. I don’t tend to turn down opportunities even though they might not be as lucrative as I would like because I know they will help me in the long run.
I am a typical teenager and there are plenty of teens out there just like me that would take on the challenge of entrepreneurship if they knew it was a possibility and have support and encouragement. High Schools could provide this support and encouragement by organizing entrepreneurial clubs where teens could help each other in solving the entrepreneurship challenges they are facing. Formal classes in entrepreneurship at high school covering basic steps and skills would be helpful for teens. A system for mentorship of teens by business people in the community would help with problem solving, generating new ideas and networking.
When I first started out at the end of 2017, I wasn’t sure that I’d be very successful; however, I have pushed past the first barriers in my entrepreneurship journey, and I will continue to push past the rest.
Nicette Scott is a Grade 12 student at St. Joseph’s High School. She is completing a co-op placement at WEtech Alliance where she will gain exposure to the tech community. Nicette works with youth as a camp counselor and volunteer group leader, and she tutors other students. She plays several instruments and volunteers as a harpist at non-profit events. Nicette plans to pursue post secondary education and a career in STEM.