Building A Fashion Empire Moziah Bridges started making bow ties at home in Memphis, Tennessee. He regularly appears on TV shows in America and he has made bow ties for President Barack Obama. Enrol in startup.business today and you’ll receive a copy of the comic book Brilliant BusinessKids, which features Moziah’s complete story, in his own words.
Melati and Isabel Wijsen are the co-founders of Bye Bye Plastic Bags. They live in Bali, Indonesia where plastic bags littering the streets and beaches, are an environmental hazard. They started their social initiative to fix the problem. … I was 12 when we started and Isabel was 10. As soon as we proposed the idea our community loved it. At our first meeting we had six people around the table – all of our best friends – and we said, ‘You have to join and help us in this’. We said, ‘Everybody here has different passions and we want you to follow that within our team’. So we follow a multi-layered approach that involves educational and inspirational presentations. Isabel and I are public speakers, but for those in the team who are not, this is a great way for them to go to school presentations. In Bali we have the Global Issues Network conference and we decided, ‘Okay, let’s kick it off at that’. We started with the presentation, we got some new team members, then we started doing beach clean-ups. We also started socialising with the local people. The six friends we had at the first meeting are all board members now. We can take a break in the mountains, like we did recently, and we’ll have three teams out here on the job doing all different actions around the island. We have the support of the team, the community and our family. These are our three big pillars. Almost two years ago we started a pilot village in Bali. It’s a model, so we could see how it would work to get that place plastic-bag-free first, and then we would implement it on a larger scale all over the island. We work constantly within the Pererenan village and the children there. We see motorbikes zooming by with alternative bags now. Enrol in startup.business today to receive a copy of the comic book Brilliant BusinessKids, which features the complete story of how Isabel and Melati grew Bye Bye Plastic Bags.
Funding Her Passion For Skateboarding Poppy Starr Olsen is an award-winning skateboarder and founder the jewellery brand Poppy Starr. Enrol in startup.business today and you’ll receive a copy of the comic book Brilliant BusinessKids, which features Poppy’s complete story.
Brooke Martin lives in Spokane, Washington, in the United States. She designed her first device for pets and has gone on to create ICLovedOnes and ICMedMinder, specifically to help elderly people. I came up with the idea for ICPooch because our dog Kayla would get really upset whenever we left home. She would run around the house crying and chewing our shoes, destroying the furniture and carpet. We wondered how we could make her feel more comfortable. I like to text, video chat, email and call my friends and family, so I thought, ‘Why can’t we do that with our pets?’ I was in eighth grade at the time and we did a project at school where you could learn about anything you were interested in. I had always really loved entrepreneurship and business, so I looked at what it was like to start a company. I wasn’t really planning to do anything on my own, but then I heard that Startup Weekend was being held in Spokane, which is my home town, so I decided to pitch my idea there. There were 39 adults and me, a 12-year-old. At the time ICPooch was called ICUPoo, which got a lot of attention. That definitely worked in my favour. I ended up getting the most number of votes on the first pitch night and worked with an amazing team of people over the next 54 hours. It boosted my confidence a lot and I realised that even though I was young, I could come up with a good idea and move it forward. Enrol in startup.business today to receive a copy of the comic book Brilliant BusinessKids, which features Brooke’s complete story and how she’s growing her business.
Ben Breeze is the founder of Ben’s Boxes and the co-founder of Kids Cut Palm Oil. He lives in Bali, Indonesia. When I was about six, I saw a video about kids having fun raising money for charity. It made me think about people I’d seen begging on the side of Sunset Road in Bali. I didn’t like how these people couldn’t do what they wanted because they had little money. It made me feel sad. I wanted to give them some, so they would be happy. I’m eight years old now and I have a charity that helps the poor people in Bali. When I first started the charity I put boxes outside the driveway, but no one put money in them. My Dad said we could raise money online through GoFundMe. Ben’s Boxes has raised $2,500. I’ve made a playground for BaliLife School in Denpasar, where street children go to learn. We gave them our old couch and a new fridge, because the old one blew up in a flood. We also gave them 100 books in a small box and money to make a playground. They didn’t say much, but I could see they were happy. That is what Ben’s Boxes is about. I found out about another orphanage in Bali through BaliLife and I’m going to do the same with them. Enrol in startup.business today to receive a copy of the comic book Brilliant BusinessKids, which features more about Ben and his social enterprises.
Zeryab Cheema was 15 years old when he asked his parents to help fund his idea for an app. As a non-tech founder and teenager, he faced numerous challenges before finding the right market for his product. He now has offices in Australia, the US and the UK. Zeryab is 19 years old. I started iView International in 2012. Back then, apps were growing in popularity across Australia. Many people had smartphones, so me and my Dad thought a one-tap, book-a-cab app that you could see in real time on a map would work for the Sydney market. I thought the app would only cost a few grand to make, but the quotes were anywhere from $30,000 to $150,000. I told my parents and I think getting any parent to trust a teenager with $30,000 is asking a lot, but they used their savings to help me. It took 10 weeks to get the first version of the app. We called it Taxi 24/7. I never knew when we were about to launch it though, because Apple kept rejecting it. Every time they did this we had a huge cost of re-developing it. In the end, they rejected it eight times, but then on February 29, 2012, we registered and launched the app. It was quite exciting. The pilot mode of Taxi 24/7 got a lot of media traction and downloads. We had a lot of competition in Australia though, and up until about June or July of 2012, we had no external funding – it was all bootstrapping. Enrol in startup.business today and you’ll receive a copy of the comic book Brilliant BusinessKids, which features the complete story of how Zeryab is building his business.
Juliette Jones started making lemonade at home with the help of her family and friends, and selling it at a local market. Now, she uses a factory to bottle her lemonade, which means she can also sell it in shops and cafes. My grandfather had Motor Neurone Disease and passed away in 2014. I decided to raise money for that cause because hardly anyone seemed to know about it at the time. We thought lemonade would be good to sell, not for any particular reason, we just thought the disease was a bit of a lemon. We first started making the lemonade at home in the kitchen and sold it at our local market. They gave us a spot for free, because we were raising funds to cure Motor Neurone Disease. At first, we called ourselves It’s Not A Lemon, but we changed it because everyone was like, ‘If it’s not a lemon, what is it?’ No one understood. We were trying to say, ‘The lemonade isn’t a dud, but the disease is a bit of a dud’. Now our business is called CSJ leMoNaiD. The M, N and D stand for Motor Neurone Disease. We got a lemonade recipe off the internet, but we didn’t like it so we tweaked it and made it 10 times better. We used to get the lemons from the markets. We would squeeze them by hand and it took three hours with three people doing it. We would squeeze just enough to get through the market. Now I have someone who supplies me with pure lemon juice with nothing added to it. That cut down on time and cost. They give it to us for such a cheap price. We mix up our secret recipe at home in batches, then we load up car trailer on Friday night, ready for the market on Saturday. It’s not just the lemonade, it’s the jars and the stand, and we’ve got a gazebo now. We used to use Dad’s ute, but the stuff took up all the flat bed space and three back seats, so we bought a cheap trailer. The first day at the market, I made $300. We put it all back into the business. We grew every week. Enrol in startup.business to receive a copy of the comic book Brilliant BusinessKids, which features more about Juliette and her lemonade business.
Mikaela Gilbert is 19-years-old and goes to Indiana University, in the United States. She started designing Chatter Eggs when she was 17, in her senior year at high school. When I was in my sophomore year at high school, I was given a wooden egg in one of my classes and told to make a product, and package it. I thought of an egg-shaped toy that wobbled without falling down and made animal noises. I called it Chatter Eggs and it was painted to look like a farm animal. My teacher loved the idea and said he could see it on a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter, but I thought it was similar to toys that were already available. At the time, I was also taking a class that focused on innovation. I took the toy in and after we brainstormed a bit, I added a foreign language element to it. Each Chatter Eggs animal now correlates to the area where the language originated from, so the Chinese version is a panda. When it wobbles it says a phrase in a foreign language and then repeats it in English. I don’t have a background in technologically, so I’ve had a lot of mentors helping me through the development process. I also didn’t know a thing about entrepreneurship. I actually Googled, ‘What to do with toy idea’ and ended up cold-calling a toy development company. I got lucky when they picked up the phone and said they wanted to work with me. They helped me create a prototype that operates in a similar way to how I envisaged Chatters Eggs would eventually work. Enrol in startup.business today to receive a copy of the comic book Brilliant BusinessKids, which features Mikaela’s complete story and how she is developing Chatter Eggs.
Taj Pabari started his first business when he was 11 years old. By age 14, he was running a profitable company Fiftysix Creations, and he now has employees in six countries. He describes how he started. I got my first computer when I was 11-years-old. I would be on my computer, playing a lot of games and on the internet in class. I couldn’t talk about anything else. One day I thought, ‘Why don’t I just channel this passion into something I also love doing, which is creative writing?’ I started a blog that was for kids by kids, so they could learn about the world of technology. It was 2011, and at the time it seemed like we were the only blog focusing on tech reviews exclusively for the kids market. We put some ads on it and that’s how we first started making money. Every time someone clicked, we got paid. A few months in, we were getting 100,000 hits a day, making $10 a day. I guess the conversion rates weren’t too good, but I could go to the tuck shop every single day. It was my first taste of entrepreneurship. A few more months in, I knew I couldn’t run the blog by myself, so I talked to a couple of fellow ‘nerds’ in my class. I said, ‘I’m making $10 a day on this website. If you write, say, three articles a day, I’ll give you $3 out of my $10’. Then I was making around $7 a day and all the writing was being delegated. We found that other young people all around the world – not just my friends – were also interested in writing on this website for free. All they wanted was recognition for their work. Six months into the business, it was completely profitable. We weren’t paying anything for the domain, because it was still a ‘blogspot url’. Other children were writing for the website and our advertising revenue was steadily rising. I thought, ‘This is very cool! This is how the world works. If I can identify and channel my passion into something I can monetise and that’s meaningful, I’m going to live a special life’. Enrol in startup.business today to receive a copy of the comic book Brilliant BusinessKids, which features the complete story about how Taj started and grew Fiftysix Creations.
Dan Khanh lives in Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam. She started a charity project called Warm Feet with her school friends, Ha Nhu, Khoi Nguyen and Huyen Anh, to help provide children in uplands Vietnam with used shoes. Warm Feet started because my mum had a trip to Sapa, in the north of my country. The children there are impoverished. They have worn shoes and some of them don’t even have shoes. My friends and I wanted to do something. We made a plan to get started and thought we would figure out what we needed to do from there’. For the first few months we talked to lots of people, trying to convince them to donate their shoes. That was probably the hardest part, because we had no credentials and no popular organisation behind us to earn people’s trust immediately. Later on, we had been working long enough and hard enough for people to stop questioning, ‘Why should we trust you?’ We worked through social media and did call-outs to people at our schools. We went from class to class talking to people: ‘Just give us two minutes, this is what we’re doing, this is why you should help us and it doesn’t really cost you anything. Just be supportive and be active about it’. We collected shoes at our high school and the schools we went to when we were young. Other people also send shoes in because they know about us from online. We used our pocket money to get started and fortunately, the cost at first wasn’t very high. Because we actually went to the places and asked the people to donate we didn’t need a lot of money. Our logo was given to us by a designer – he was a friend of the family – and we only paid for printing a few posters. We were also offered interviews with some newspapers and radio programs to help spread the word. If people want to donate and they don’t have any old shoes they can send us the money and we will buy the shoes for them. I have found a distributor in the wholesale market. The first time we sent out shoes, we sent out 75 pairs, because that was all we had at the time. But now, we’ve sent 1,058 pairs in total. Enrol in startup.business today to receive a copy of the comic book Brilliant BusinessKids, which features more about Khanh and the work she’s doing with her friends in Vietnam.