teen business ideas

34 Creative & Unique Business Ideas for Teens

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Who said that you’ve to be an adult to start your own business? Keep in mind that age doesn’t define success. If you’ve entrepreneurial spirits, there are many opportunities to become a young entrepreneur.

Are you still in doubt? Let’s give an example of two popular icons who started their business before age 18. Mark Cuban, an American billionaire and one of Shark Tank’s investors, started selling garbage bags door to door at age 12. Other one is Fred De Luca, who opened his first restaurant “Subway” at age 17 only. So who knows, you might be the next successful entrepreneur.

However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that teen unemployment rises about 25% across the country. Some cities have even the worst scenario, like the District of Columbia (49%), Washington (33.2%) etc. Among which above 20% are between 16-19 years old.

The main reasons behind this are lack of job opportunities, tough competition, limited work experience and huge population. In effect, teenagers are trying to grab any job offer to earn some extra dollars. But let’s think outside of the box. How’s about starting your own business? If you’re planning so, here are some best business ideas for teens in 2021 with low capital.

Why Do Teens Start Businesses?

You probably wonder why a teen needs to start his/her own business. Even not all parents are comfortable sending their kids to work. After all, it’s time to focus on the study and other activities like sports.

But do you know that teen businesses come with many benefits? It not only shapes their future but also builds confidence in them. When teens start a business, rather than doing a part-time or full-time job, they will

  • Start working from an early age.
  • Become confident about making decisions and handling customers.
  • Learn time management and make a flexible schedule according to study and other works.
  • Learn how to invest, grow the business and earn revenue.
  • Earn more money and keep saving.
  • Enjoy the work they love.
  • Get confidence about being an entrepreneur.

What To Consider Before Starting A Business As A Teen?

As a teenager, it can be difficult for them to start and operate a business. They have full-time classes to attend and limited resources like startup capital. So how to conduct a business idea?

Here are three main points to consider before starting a business.

  • Focus on Home-based Businesses

Most teenagers don’t know or aren’t old enough for driving. Or maybe the workplace is too far from home that raises concerns. So, to avoid transportation, try some home-based or easily accessible businesses. Moreover, it has a major benefit like low startup cost.

  • Time Flexibility

Make sure that the business you’re starting fits your schedule. If the work needs you on the morning shift, but you’re stuck in high school, it won’t work. So, why don’t you try some freelancing or contractual projects?

Most business requires at least 8-10 hours labor daily. Unfortunately, your school and extracurricular activities probably won’t give you that much time. Thankfully some business ideas for teens allow time flexible working in the evening or weekends.

  • Low Business Capital

It’s obvious that as a teen, you won’t have too much to invest. Unlike other new business owners, teens have limited financial resources and savings. Even most teenagers don’t prefer taking money from their parents. Luckily, there are many business opportunities that require low capital. The less thing you need to operate a business, the less you need to buy stuff for starting it.

How Does Unemployment Affect Teens?

As already said started working as a teen helps to build confidence. On the contrary, unemployment affects mental health badly. It causes depression and low self-confidence.

Additionally, teens face many problems finding jobs after completing high school. Not to mention, there is a tough race at the workplace where a teen finds difficulties competing with experienced adults. Managing time, working with a team or following instructions all create pressure on an inexperienced teen.

Besides, many teens take part-time jobs to pay their bills or tuition fees during college. Eventually, without a job, their dreams to continue higher study start fading away.

Then again, those jobs are not sufficient enough to provide a “real job” experience. Moreover, lack of support from family or friends has serious consequences. Study shows that a discouraged teen sometimes becomes a discouraged adult that affects their confidence level. So how to overcome the fear of unemployment? The best solution is to start your own business and become an entrepreneur.

Top Business Ideas for Teens in 2021

There are many business ideas for teens to get started. You can do some neighborhood works like babysitting, helping kids with their homework, or take dogs to walk.

However, modern technology has opened too many possibilities for teens. Thanks to the internet for which they’ve some amazing advantages over the past generation. Today’s teenagers have the resources and skills to develop knowledge and learn new things easily. So if you also have that spirit, you may find some great opportunities.

Here are some top business ideas for teens in 2021.

1. Academic Tutor

This is the easiest way to start a business. If you’re an expert in any particular subject like math, English, science etc., assist students who need help in that area.

Further, in the pandemic situation, online classes have taken the peak. Hence, becoming an academic tutor is advantageous as you don’t need to travel or spend too much time.

2. Art Teacher

Do you love painting? Then you can be an art teacher. Drawing, painting or any artistic skill make you perfect for this role.

Moreover, you don’t need too much investment to give art lessons. Either you provide necessary tools like brushes, canvas, pencils or ask students to bring their own. Most importantly, you can start this business right from your home. You can charge fees monthly or hourly depending on your teaching skill.

3. College Prep Tutor

If you’re able to teach higher courses, then provide lessons for standardized tests like ACT, SAT, AP etc., to college applicants. All you need is to buy test-prep books. Giving advice and preparing students for such tests is a good way to build your reputation as a tutor.

4. Babysitting

Another easy business idea for teens is to start babysitting. Sometimes, your neighbor or friend’s family requires someone to take care of their younger kids. Luckily, you can take a childcare job after school time or the weekend.

Moreover, you may take classes on babysitting provided by local communities to avail better opportunities.

5. Sell Handmade Products

In the age of the internet, reaching larger audiences has become very easy. Not to mention, e-commerce sites and social media are great platforms to sell or buy products. So, if you’re an artistic teen and can make handmade crafts, why don’t you start selling them?

Either you set your own business website or use social media to sell crafts online. Also, you can contact local vendors to sell the products. Some popular craft business ideas for teens in 2021 are jewelry making, candle making, customized greeting cards etc.

6. Social Media Influencer

Do you have massive followers on Instagram or Twitter? Then there is a chance for you to become a social media influencer.

Many teens to adult celebrities talk and promote products on different social platforms and get paid. Even brands also look for such personalities to collaborate. However, in the beginning, you may earn very little. The more you gain followers and people start buying products from your shared links, the more you earn.

7. Podcaster

In case you want to make audio content, starting your own podcast can be the best choice. However, many people don’t know too much about it. But undoubtedly, podcasts can be a good earning source if you’ve passion.

Additionally, with a strong follower base, the interested advertisers will like to place ads on your website. Eventually, you’ll make some money.

8. Blogger

Blogging has become a commercial interest for many people. It’s a great business idea for teens to adults. All you need is to select your niche and start a blog writing about it. Once it gets popular, you can earn money through promotional sales, ads or affiliate links.

9. House Cleaner

Many kids often help their parents with cleaning around the house. So how’s about using that skill to make money? Also, the house cleaning business is somewhat suitable for any teen. It’s a good practice to clean and manage a house. Your neighbors will love to pay you for offering them your cleaning service regularly.

10. Car Washing

Who doesn’t want their car shiny? However, either they haven’t that time or too lazy to wash the cars. So, you can offer them a car washing service.

You don’t even need to invest too much in this business. A bucket, pair of gloves, sponge, window cleaner and grease for polishing, that’s all you need. You can also visit clients for the service at the weekend or after school.

11. Errand-Running Service

Busy people don’t always have enough time to finish the to-do-list. Or sometimes, older adults can’t get out to buy utilities, especially in the pandemic situation. Hence, they may need a second set of hands to take care of their tasks.

Running errands is one of the popular business ideas for teens in 2021. You can run errands after school and don’t even require any special skill for it. But if you know driving, it can be extra beneficial.

12. Lawn Care Business

Everybody loves neatly cut grass on their lawn. If you know gardening and mow the lawn, start a lawn care business. You can offer the service to both neighborhood and commercial customers.

In fact, summer will be the perfect time for teens as it’s their holiday. So how’s about earning some extra bucks during the holiday?

13. Makeup Artist Business

Who doesn’t love makeup? From teenagers to adults, everyone enjoys a good look. So, if you’ve makeup application skills, becoming a makeup artist may be the best idea.

You can initially create a social media portfolio by doing makeup on friends rather than on professional models. Thus, it’ll save you some money. The best option is to do their makeup on prom night. Eventually, you’ll get more exposure.

Once you get famous, you’ll get more new clients. If you’re already popular among peers, they will keep coming back for makeup for every event. Successful makeup artists can earn up to six figures.

However, the startup cost depends on how much you can afford to buy products. Since you’ll visit the client or work from home, the cost will be relatively low.

14. Dog Walker and Pet Sitting Business

If you’re an animal lover, then the pet sitting business is suitable for you. It’s an excellent chance to meet new pets and take care of them.

You can also offer a dog walking service to the local pet owners. They would love to pay a teenager weekly or daily basis for walking their dogs.

15. Seasonal Chores

For teens, the seasonal business can be fun and a good income source. Many house owners don’t get too much time to decorate their homes during festivals. But who doesn’t want a beautifully decorated Christmas tree or snow-free lawn?

Therefore, teens can offer their services with seasonal chores such as decorating homes with lights, shoveling snow, spring clean up etc.

Additionally, offering gift-wrapping services during Christmas or other occasions may bring extra dollars in pockets.

16. Tech Support

Tech support business is in high demand in recent years. If you’re tech-savvy and need time-shifting work, the tech support business is a great idea. Here you’ll assist customers through calls or chats to solve their issues.

17. Computer Setup and Installation Service

Teens can establish a business to help people set up and install the new computer or other devices.

18. Technology Tutor

Rather than visiting clients to set up their devices, how’s about teaching them?  Yes, teens can also be technology tutors by assisting people in setting up computers, laptops or other devices and troubleshooting problems.

19. Graphic Designer

If you have design skills, then start a business as a graphic designer. You can create printable graphics and sell them online.

Furthermore, you can design your own t-shirts and other clothing with customized cool graphics on it. After printing, sell them online or in local stores. Or else, you can do some freelancing work for local markets.

20. Making Greeting Cards

Most teens are nowadays creative-minded. So, if you’re among them, maybe you can start making and selling handmade greetings cards. It’s a good chance to turn your hobby into a business.

21. Musician

Are you passionate about music? Or maybe you sing pretty well but still hiding your talent in the bathroom only. However, now it’s time to utilize this talent to earn some money.

It’s a great business idea to collaborate with a band or start playing as an individual musician on different occasions.

22. Music Lessons Business

After becoming a successful musician, how’s about giving music lessons? You can start the business at home, school or students’ home. The startup cost is also low as students will bring their own instruments. You only need to buy some music sheets. Once you get popular as a music teacher, your income will also increase.

23. Portrait Artist

Being an excellent artist, you’ve no idea how much you can earn for one portrait. Hence, offer your service to those who need customs portraits for family, pets or any scenery.

24. Photographer and Videographer

If you’ve photography skills, then you may start a photography business. Pet photography is quite popular as pet owners love to hang their pets’ portraits. Or else, you can offer a service to take photos at weddings or other events.

Additionally, you can also become a videographer if you’ve the necessary equipment. There are many photography and videography courses available. You can learn them in your spare time.

25. Web Designer

If you have the knowledge or a web designing course, then start a business as a web designer. Its popularity and high demand pay pretty well.

Moreover, many small startups don’t have a high budget to hire professionals to set up a web page. Hence, you can offer them your service at a discounted rate. Thus, you can enhance the skills and try your luck in big organizations to earn more.

26. Farmers Market Vendor

In case you’re looking to sell handmade products locally, then farmer markets are a great way. From selling handmade art and craft to food, jewelry, beauty or healthcare products etc., this vending business is a good idea for teens. Parents can also join you to reserve the booth and look out for the business.

27. Delivery Service

Among other business ideas for teens in 2021, delivery service is the easiest one. You can offer service by delivering items to different locations on behalf of the customers. But make sure you know the transportation route to deliver.

28. Packing Service

However, if you’re not comfortable moving and delivering items, why don’t offering a packing service? Sellers will surely be happy to get extra hands while packing products before sending them out. Eventually, you’ll earn some extra cash.

29. Proofreader

If you’ve enough time in hand after school, start a proofreading business. Here you’ll edit or proofread copies for individuals, authors or businesses.

30. Retail Arbitrage

In order to make a decent profit, retail arbitrage can be a good business idea for teens. They generally look for high-quality items online at a low price and then resell them at a high price on eBay or social media.

However, they buy most items from local garage sales at a very cheap rate. A garage sale is where people sell their old or unwanted items of home. Therefore, their prices are also low.

31. Create Online Game or Apps

More or less, every teen is tech-savvy. In modern technology, with unlimited resources, they can learn anything on their own, including creating online games or apps.

These apps and games are then featured in the online app stores. Every time a user downloads them, the creator will earn a percentage.

32. Data Entry

It is another flexible work where teens earn money as well as learn new skills. It’s important to know using spreadsheets and working with data for future preferences. A data entry business will give you that opportunity to learn and make a business profit.

33. Transcriptiontion

If the teen can type fast and pay strong attention to details, then the transcription business is the best idea. All they need is to transcribing the video or audio for a newspaper or other business. The faster they type, the more they earn.

However, they must know using computers and other necessary software for this work.

34. Live-Streaming Gamer

One of the cool business ideas for teens is doing live streaming when playing online. There is huge money to earn from different sources while streaming live. If you’re a popular gamer or have a reliable fan base, you’ll start earning sooner or later. There are many sites where you can start this business, such as Twitch.Tv.


Hopefully, the above-listed business ideas will help teenagers to start their careers. However, these businesses won’t need any special skills but require dedication and persistency. In this way, you will learn time management and hard work.

Though starting a business as a teen is not easy. Along with earning money, many responsibilities will come to you. But surely you will adopt many new things for the better.

Additionally, you need to manage finance, face challenges and overcome hurdles. At the same time, you also have to diplomatic and creative to make the business successful. Moreover, don’t get discouraged if you lose at some point. You may not find overnight success, but through hard work and dedication, you’ll earn profit in the long run.

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Written byEthan Perkins