Updated: Mar 15
Age isn’t a barrier when you have a great idea. As the saying goes, “You are never too young to start an empire, and never too old to start a new dream.” Every successful company started out as just that: a dream. To turn your dream into reality, it takes the confidence to believe in yourself and a desire to make a difference.
In this article, we get to meet some inspiring girls who had a dream and the courage to make it come true. Not only are they making a difference in their own lives, but they are helping others at the same time!
When she was seven years old, Lily Born noticed that her grandpa, who has Parkinson’s disease, was struggling with taking a sip from his cup and was spilling his drinks a lot. So, she came up with the idea of a 3-legged drinking cup that is practically spill-proof! After building her prototype she found a producer to make the cups in ceramic, and then partnered with a team of designers to introduce a plastic version. She calls it the Kangaroo Cup.
She raised her initial funding on Kickstarter, and with a little help from her family, she was able to produce and start selling her product. She has since sold tens of thousands of Kangaroo Cups worldwide, helping those with Parkinson’s disease be more independent.
Lily says, “It’s not a matter of genius, it’s a matter of believing in yourself and your ideas.”
At the tender age of four, Mikaila Ulmer was stung by a bee twice in one week. It was a terrifying experience, but instead of ducking for cover every time she went outside, she did a little research and became fascinated by bees and how they help us and the ecosystem.
That same year, she started a lemonade stand using her great-grandma’s flaxseed lemonade recipe sweetened with honey to raise money to save the bees. That lemonade stand evolved into her multi award-winning company, Me and the Bees.
When she was nine, she appeared on ABC’S Shark Tank and gave a pitch that won her a $60,000 investment! From there, she has gone on to sell in grocery stores, restaurants and other points of sale across the United States and donates a portion of her profits to the Healthy Hive Foundation she founded, which helps sustain and protect the Bees.
Mikaila’s first book, Bee Fearless, Dream Like a Kid, is about her adventures as a social entrepreneur and will hit the shelves next month (August 2020).
Noa Mintz has always had a taste for entrepreneurship. At four years old, she held art classes for her fellow students in the summer for a small fee. At the age of six, she started a children’s party planning business.
When she was 12, she started her own childcare agency, Nannies by Noa, where she matches families with babysitters that she wished she had growing up. She interviewed the nannies, did the background checks and provided customer care for 190 clients all by herself! When she needed to focus on school, she hired a CEO to run her business for her.
Noa says, “The most rewarding experience was being able to create jobs and get people into employment.”
Now 17, she looks back on her achievements with pride. Her advice to other young girls is, “Don’t let age get in the way of your dreams.”
On New Year’s Day, when Hannah Grace was just 10 years old, she arrived at her favorite health and beauty store to buy some bath products. Her father remarked that she could make those products and sell them herself, which she accepted as a challenge. That same week she made her first bath bombs after doing some research.
She now sells her handmade products to customers online and in stores through her company, BeYOUtiful, with the mission of showing young girls that being beautiful means being yourself.
She has donated over $5,000 of proceeds from her business to different charities and gives 20% of her online sales to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, having herself been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 11 months old.
You can check out the fun videos she creates about cleaning hacks and makeup tips on her YouTube channel.
Maya Penn is the Founder and CEO of the Maya’s Ideas brand of sustainable, artisan-crafted accessories and clothing, a company she started at the age of eight from a passion for design and a desire to tackle the negative impact the fashion industry has on the environment.
Maya donates a portion of her proceeds to Maya's Ideas 4 The Planet, a 501(c)3 nonprofit she founded to help underserved girls and youth around the world.
Her book, YOU GOT THIS! Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World was published by Simon & Schuster in 2016. Her TedWomen Talk in 2013 has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.
All of these girls started their companies at or before the age of 10 with just an idea and a dream – two elements that are accessible to us all, regardless of our age. If these girls have inspired you, let us know in the comments. Above all, keep dreaming!