The Value of Youth Entrepreneurship Among High School Students

Over the last three years, Greater Fergus Falls has enjoyed showcasing the many businesses and industries that have set down roots in the Fergus Falls region. The area offers an incredibly diverse range of goods and services, and we are grateful to reside in a community with such a strong entrepreneurial spirit. While we’ve talked about entrepreneurs and startups in the past, today we want to highlight a very special group: youth entrepreneurs.

Keep reading to learn more about youth entrepreneurship and how the community can support these student-run businesses below!

What Drives Youth Entrepreneurship?

Youth entrepreneurship isn’t a new concept; students have been pursuing side hustles for quite some time. However, there’s been a recent surge in entrepreneurship from high school students, which many experts believe is fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. As educational institutions shifted to distance learning, many students found themselves with more free time. More time combined with a heavy push to online business models created the perfect catalyst for student entrepreneurship.

Every teen has their reasons for starting a part-time or hobby business, but there are some commonalities. Some of the biggest motivators among Gen Z are the desire for independence, making their own money through meaningful work, and driving social change. The rising cost of college tuition and the ongoing student loan crisis are also driving factors for young entrepreneurs.

Why Is Youth Entrepreneurship Important?

Youth entrepreneurship has been on the rise for quite some time, but it can be easy to underestimate the power it can have. However, these student-run businesses and the experience they provide have immense value. Student entrepreneurs are more likely to learn and develop essential skills and characteristics, including:

  • Independent thinking

  • Financial planning

  • Creative and critical thinking

  • Problem-solving

  • Strategic goal planning

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Cultural awareness

  • Leadership abilities

Developing these skills and attributes will assist student entrepreneurs throughout their entire lives. They can be applied on both a personal and professional level and will continue to serve students no matter the career path they choose.

“‘Entrepreneurial skills’ don't have to be used for entrepreneurship,” explains Larry Alton for “Learning to research a business plan, manage your time, and lead others can help you in a wide variety of careers, classes, and life experiences. Better-trained entrepreneurs tend to be better performers in nearly all areas of life.”