Genius kids who’ve earned a ton of money through their own businesses
You’re never too young to become an entrepreneur. That’s what these kids prove, anyway. From a young age, they started making serious business moves — from selling their own inventions to learning how to invest or monetizing their social media presence.
Take, for example, the story of the teen who made a whopping $35,000 over the course of four days by providing an unexpected yet vital service — snowplowing — to Seattle residents after a rare snowstorm covered the city.
This Teen Put His Snow-Plowing Skills To Good Use
In February 2019, as Seattle and other states faced a slew of storms and extreme weather, one 18-year-old decided to get to work. David Holston, a teen who works as a landscaper in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was visiting his mother in Seattle when he got the idea to bring his plow truck to the city and offer his services to residents.
He Earned $500 to $750 An Hour
It’s rare to see Seattle with a blanket of snow, and most local businesses and residents don’t have the required tools available to clear it away. Holston jumped on the opportunity and created an ad on Craiglist with rates of $500 to $750 an hour — and the offers soon began pouring in. Think about it: If you need your parking lot cleared in order to operate your business, $500 is a worthwhile expense.
Reporter @caseyworks talked to an 18-year-old entrepreneur from Idaho who is profiting off the #SeattleSnowpocalypse. In less than a week he's gone from charging $500 per hour to $750 to plow parking lots in his big Dodge Ram. pic.twitter.com/MLDP6xnM6M
— KUOW Public Radio (@KUOW) February 14, 2019
He Made $35,000 In Four Days
After posting the ad on Craiglist, Holston says he quickly began lining up job after job. He ended up plowing 15 sites over four days. His total profits: a whopping $35,000! Holston said he plans to donate 20 percent of his earnings to his church, after which he will buy some lawn equipment and then put the rest toward his first house. Talk about an entrepreneurial kid!
This Child Prodigy Has Made Over $35,000 Selling Her Artwork
In May 2018, child art prodigy Elisabeth Anisimow made headlines for her lucrative art business. According to CNBC, the then-11-year-old said she started selling her work at the age of 7.
Anisimow sold her first painting at the age of 9, and they have continued to be her most lucrative sellers. The paintings range from $2,500 to $5,000, depending on the complexity and cost of the materials. In total, she told CNBC in 2018 that she’d made about $35,000 in art sales up until that point.
What’s Her Selling Point?
“Living paintings,” in which a living person is painted along with a backdrop and props, in the style of famous impressionist artists such as Monet and Rembrandt.
This Teen Earned Big By Reselling Trendy Sneakers
It turns out your love of shoes can pay off — or at least it did in the case of Benjamin “Kickz” Kapelushnik. In 2015, at the age of 16, the young entrepreneur was raking in big money by reselling high-end sneakers like Air Jordans and Yeezys. After selling a couple of pairs of his own shoes to classmates, Kapelushnik realized he could turn the concept into a full-fledged business. He began selling online and built connections with footwear stores and online retailers.
He Reportedly Pulled In 6 Figures Via His Sneaker Business
As his business began gaining more attention, Kapelushnik earned the nickname “The Sneaker Don” and started drawing high-profile customers. According to Forbes, he has dealt sneakers to and posted photos with the likes of French Montana, DJ Khaled, G-Eazy and Drake. Though the teen refused to disclose revenues, Forbes estimates his income is in the six-figure range.
This Young Business Owner Built A Cookie Company
Cory Nieves came up with the idea of selling hot cocoa to make money at the age of 5, because he wanted to buy his mom a car. He later pivoted to cookies, working with his mom to create a delicious but all-natural recipe that still maintained that traditional chocolate chip flavor. That led to the rise of Mr. Cory’s Cookies, which has a since expanded to include different flavors of cookies and merchandise.
Multiple TV Appearances
These days, Nieves continues to serve as the CEO of Mr. Cory’s Cookies, while his mom, Lisa, works as the CFO. The company has also landed in the national spotlight, with the duo appearing on an episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2014 (on which they were gifted a company car) and on a 2017 episode of “The Profit,” landing an investment from host Marcus Lemonis.
This Teenager Started A Sock Empire
Brennan Agranoff became a CEO at the age of 13. After noticing all that of his classmates were wearing plain white athletic socks at a basketball game, Agranoff wondered whether he could start a new craze by making socks with custom designs. He launched his online-only business, HoopSwagg, in 2013, and it’s since taken off in a big way.
HoopSwagg Is Earning Big Sales And Buying Up The Competition
The socks, which feature hundreds of original designs created by Agranoff, retail for about $14.99. According to CNN Business, HoopSwagg grew to over $1 million in online sales in only four years. In 2017, the company also bought competitor TheSockGame.com, adding more than 300 designs to its portfolio and helping to expand its base of customers. The business is still going strong, with its products available to shop on its official website.
This Young Boy Started A Recycling Business At 7
If you need proof that it’s never too early to start a business, look no further than Ryan Hickman. After visiting a California recycling center at the age of 3, the young boy decided to make recycling his life’s mission. After years of picking up cans and bottles in his neighborhoods, he launched Ryan’s Recycling Company at the ripe old age of 7.
His Business Landed Him On ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’
As of January 2018, Hickman had recycled over 200,000 cans and bottles and saved over $11,000. His efforts also landed him on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in early 2017, an episode during which DeGeneres matched his savings. According to CNN, the money has been designated for college. Hickman also sells T-shirts and donates his proceeds from those sales to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.
This Group Of Children Launched A Home-Flipping Business
In 2017, six young kids ranging in age from 7 to 13 had a chance meeting with Oprah Winfrey in Los Angeles, California, and received some sage advice: “Give back, work hard and never give up.” Inspired by those words, the children decided to start their own business. Enter Junior Flips, which buys old properties in Washington, D.C. and Maryland and renovates them for first home buyers. The students launched the company in 2017 and have never looked back.
It’s Just The Beginning For Junior Flips.
In their first year of business, Junior Flips made a profit of $250,000 by flipping a couple of homes. The company’s young founders and employees have since appeared on “The Steve Harvey Show” and landed on Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 list in 2018. According to their website, they’re also hosting a kids international entrepreneurial conference in the Bahamas this summer.
This Teen Earned The Approval Of The Sharks
If you’re obsessed with “Shark Tank,” you may recognize Ryan Kelly from his appearance on the show. Kelly pitched his idea for healthy, all-natural dog treats on a 2015 episode of the series at just 10 years old. Not only was he was one of the youngest entrepreneurs to ever appear on the show, but he also actually nabbed an investment from businesswoman Barbara Corcoran. On the series, Kelly agreed to a $25,000 loan from Corcoran in exchange for 25 percent of his business — and the rest is history.
Sales For Ry’s Ruffery Skyrocketed
In the years after “Shark Tank,” Kelly’s business, known as Ry’s Ruffery, could barely keep up with the demand. The company’s sales skyrocketed into six figures, and Kelly was named Crain’s Business Top 20 Under 20. The young business owner also made sure to use some of his profits for good causes, lending part of his proceeds to organizations like STARelief and Pet Assistance.
This 7-Year-Old Turned His YouTube Channel Into An International Sensation
If you have a young child, you’re probably already familiar with Ryan of Ryan Toysreview. The young boy, who plays and reviews toys on camera, stars in one of the most-watched and followed channels on YouTube. Since launching in 2015, his short and simple kid-friendly videos have earned him over 17 million followers online and billions of views — meaning, yes, he is a bonafide social media influencer at just 7 years old.
He Found Mega Success On YouTube
Considering its huge fanbase, it’s no surprise that the Ryan ToysReview channel results in a stream of big revenue for Ryan and his family. According to Forbes, he was the highest-paid YouTube star of 2018. So what exactly does that mean? The publication estimates that the young star earned a whopping $22 million in the 12 months leading into June 1 of that year. Wow — who knew playing with toys could be so profitable?
This Teen Made A Very Savvy Investment
If you got your hands on $1,000 at the age of 12, what would you have done with it? Chances are the answer isn’t investing it in bitcoin, although that’s exactly what Erik Finman did back in 2011. That’s right — the young preteen sold his first bitcoin investments at the end of 2013 and ended up making a cool $100,000. But that was just the beginning. You’ll never guess how much he made on his second investment into bitcoin.
He Dropped Out Of High School — And Became A Millionaire
Finman, who grew frustrated with teachers during his school days, dropped out of high school at 15. After spending a couple of years traveling and working with tech in Silicon Valley, he accepted bitcoin as payment for the purchase of his online education company, Botangle, in 2015. As bitcoin continued to rise in value, so did Finman’s investment. By 2017, the then-18-year-old become one of the world’s youngest bitcoin millionaires.
This Teen Cashed In On the Homemade Slime Trend
Texas teen Theresa Nguyen runs the popular Instagram account @Rad.Slime. After seeing other people making and selling their homemade slime on the networking site, Nguyen said she decided to try it for herself. It wasn’t long before she began gaining followers and generating more sales.
She Started Earning $3K A Month
As of the time of publication, the Instagram account — which Ngyuen first started when she was 13 years old — has garnered over 997,000 followers. That makes it more popular than some major retail brands, such as CVS and Walgreens. According to Yahoo, the business was earning Ngyugen a solid $3,000 a month in March 2017, although the account has become less active in recent months but there is a related Rad Slime e-commerce store in the works.
This Teenage CEO Began His Entrepreneurial Journey At Age 9
Memphis resident Moziah “Mo” Bridges started his tie company, Mo’s Bows, when he wasn’t even 10 years old. The young boy was inspired to make his own bow ties after being unable to find ones that were stylish enough for his tastes. After selling some of his products online, Mo’s Bows appeared on shows like “The Steve Harvey Show” and “Shark Tank” in 2013. Though he didn’t technically get an investment deal, he did score a mentorship with one of the Sharks, Daymond John.
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The Company Has Since Scored A Major Deal
In the years since, Mo’s Bows has grown to hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. And that’s not all. In 2017, Bridges signed a licensing deal with the NBA, allowing him to manufacture and sell products with the logos of NBA teams. That same year, Bridges, who graduates high school in 2020, landed on Time’s list of “30 Most Influential Teens.”
This Teen Has Made A Business Out Of Legal Hacking
Argentinian teen Santiago Lopez began legally hacking in 2015 at the age of 15. He taught himself how to hack by watching online tutorials. He quickly learned he could advertise his skills to companies and government agencies looking for hackers to identify weaknesses and security flaws in their software.
Putting finishing touches to a report for tomorrow about a 19 yr old hacker who’s made a $1m… legally. A rare positive story about a teen hacker. Santiago Lopez is the first bug bounty hunter to hit the money milestone on @Hacker0x01 by finding 1600 different 🐛s! #hacking pic.twitter.com/SAfnkXnF7z
— Joe Tidy (@joetidy) February 28, 2019
He’s Now The World’s First Millionaire Bug-Bounty Hacker
Lopez began finding work through HackerOne, the world’s biggest ethical hacking platform that connects users to various companies. Over the last several years, he has reported over 1,600 security flaws to all kinds of corporations and agencies. According to the BBC, his work has made the now-19-year-old the first-ever millionaire bug-bounty hacker.
This Ohio Teen Started Investing In Cryptocurrencies At 15
Eddy Zillan started trading in cryptocurrencies when he was 15 — technically still too young to open an account on trading platform Coinbase. Though he started cautiously by only investing $100, he quickly began putting in more cash, eventually buying $12,000 worth of digital currency. As his returns skyrocketed, Zillan studied cryptocurrency vigilantly and started dabbling in day trading. In a year, his initial investment had snowballed into a staggering $350,000.
He Now Calls Himself ‘The Wolf Of Crypto Street’
Since then, Zillan has continued investing and trading in digital currencies. His portfolio has topped over $1 million, as he revealed to Business Insider in 2018. But he’s also turned his business acumen into a second venture: advising. The now-19-year-old uses his knowledge of cryptocurrency to serve as a consultant to businesses and new investors.
This Young Inventor Created His First Groundbreaking Product At Age 12
California resident Shubham Banerjee was not yet even a teen yet when he invented the Braigo, a braille printer he initially built out of Legos for a science fair. The idea was to create an effective braille printer for a more affordable price than the thousands of dollars it typically cost. Flash forward and Braigo became the catalyst of the company that Banerjee soon co-founded, Braigo Labs.
He Is Now One Of The World’s Youngest Venture Capital-Backed Entrepreneurs
Braigo Labs continues to operate out of Palo Alto, California. In 2014, when Banerjee was just 13, the company received venture funding from Intel, making him one of the world’s youngest venture capital-backed entrepreneurs. Now 17, Banerjee is also an in-demand keynote and motivational speaker and is represented by Worldwide Speakers Group for speaking engagements.