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The kidpreneurs starting their own businesses at a young age

When we think of part-time jobs for children or young teenagers things like paper rounds, babysitting and dog walking tend to come to mind. 

But over the last year an increasing number of young people have made money from starting their own micro-businesses, according to the latest Youth Economy Report from prepaid debit card provider, GoHenry.

In 2021, kids earned a whopping £148million, a 9 per cent increase from the year before – while they rake in far less overall than adults that rise is more than double the average weekly wage growth for UK adults.   

This is Money meets some of the young entrepreneurs who dream of owning their own businesses when they grow up.

UK kids now say they would rather be their own boss than work traditional jobs. These young people are starting early and have all set up their own micro-businesses 

Saira, aged nine: The jewellery maker and future philanthropist

Saira says she wants to work with charities promoting education for young girls, helping to raise awareness through her online jewellery business

Saira says she wants to work with charities promoting education for young girls, helping to raise awareness through her online jewellery business

Saira started her own jewellery business making necklaces and bracelets during the pandemic.    

She says: ‘I started my jewellery business during lockdown as I wanted to keep busy. 

‘At first, I made necklaces and bracelets for my family, then I started selling them to friends for £3 each. 

‘All the money I make goes into my GoHenry account as I’m saving to buy an iPad Mini.

Saira started selling her homemade jewellery and is saving up to buy herself an iPad mini

Saira started selling her homemade jewellery and is saving up to buy herself an iPad mini 

‘Next, I’d like to start making earrings, and I’m hoping to start selling my jewellery through my Instagram page as I have over 8,000 followers. 

Saira says she would love to get more involved with charities aimed at helping young girls access education, and sees her side-hustle as a way to make a big difference in the world. 

She said: ‘I was shocked when I found out that not all children go to school or have the same things that me and my siblings do. 

‘That’s why I would love to work with The Malala Fund which helps girls around the world get a good education.

Asked what advice she would give other young girls looking to start their own businesses, she says: ‘Just give it a go! If you believe in your idea enough I think anything is possible.’  

Micah, aged 13: Savvy secondhand seller

Micah wanted to gain a little extra cash on top of his pocket money during lockdown, so he set up a Shpock online selling account. 

Micah started selling his old games and books online, and has managed to save  enough to buy a monitor for his Xbox

Micah started selling his old games and books online, and has managed to save  enough to buy a monitor for his Xbox

He earns about £35 a month selling old toys and games that he no longer uses.  

This means other kids get a chance to enjoy them too, and reduces waste.

His biggest sale was a police-themed Lego set, which sold for £60. 

Micah has already used some of his earnings to buy a monitor for playing his Xbox on.

He says: ‘I’ve never had a part-time job, but in November I decided to start selling on Shpock to earn some extra money to save for items that I’d like to buy.’ 

When asked if he plans to expand on his online business, he said: ‘Not at the moment. I am still finding my feet, but who knows what the future holds.

‘On average I now earn about £35 per month, and earning money this way has definitely improved my money-handling skills.

‘It only took me a couple of months to save enough to buy a 27′ monitor to play my Xbox on, which cost £160.’ 

Matilda, aged 12: Boss baker 

Matilda started her own baking business in her local town last summer, making £75 a week

Matilda started her own baking business in her local town last summer, making £75 a week

Matilda decided to set up her own cake business in her local village to earn some extra money during the pandemic, as she was jealous of how much money her older brother had. 

Last summer her business boomed, and she earned £75 in a single week.

Matilda said: ‘Last year I came up with the idea to sell cupcakes, and mum helped me get some business cards printed. 

Matilda's business has taken off, and she had enough spare cash to buy herself a new bike

Matilda’s business has taken off, and she had enough spare cash to buy herself a new bike

‘We asked if they could be displayed in the village shop, and orders soon started coming in. 

‘During the summer holidays I started making 24 cupcakes per week to sell in the shop, which meant I was earning about £75 per week – enough to buy a new bike!’

The locals say they love her cupcakes – with her red velvet and cream cheese cupcakes taking the win – and Matilda is even thinking of branching her bakery out to tourists when they return during the spring.

As a keen cyclist, she said: ‘I’m thinking about how to expand and reach the Easter cyclists who bike past our road. I’m thinking of making traybakes, sandwiches and energy bars. 

‘I enjoy having my own business because I like doing all the planning and coming up with new ideas, and I can choose when I want to work. 

‘I think I’d like to be my own boss when I’m older.’ 

Woody, aged 16: Crypto investor and entrepreneur

 In 2020, Woody set out to become one of the youngest self-caught cryptocurrency traders. 

Crypto is very volatile and high risk compared to traditional stock market investing and there are concerns over children getting involved in what critics say is akin to gambling. 

Woody started investing in crypto during the pandemic, earning a whopping £1,200 so far

Woody started investing in crypto during the pandemic, earning a whopping £1,200 so far

Woody has been lucky and transformed his £250 investment into more than £1,200, and sensibly has plans to diversify into investing in the stock market and also invest into starting his own business.

‘I have mostly saved my money and of course put it into other crypto investments as the opportunities presented themselves,’ he says. ‘However, I have treated myself to a new pair of trainers.

‘I hope to continue investing, whether that’s in crypto or moving to stocks and shares, however I spend most of my time nowadays focusing on expanding my fashion brand using the money from crypto to originally fund it. 

‘In the future I would love to start my own company. I think my best advice is to do research and then go for it, while of course there is some risk involved, but as they say with no risk comes no reward.’

He began learning all he could about the volatile market after discovering some TikTok videos designed to teach teenagers how to start investing in bitcoin.

After a hefty amount of research and permission from his parents, Woody decided to invest £250 of his savings in popular online coins such as bitcoin and ethereum.

He said: ‘I felt that it was accessible to me as a teenager, so I did lots of research to find out how it works, before investing £250 into various coins such as BTC, ETH and XRP.’

Since then, he’s been watching the market carefully, learning the ins-and-outs of the market’s up-and-downs, and trading.

How do kids want to make money when they grow up? 

With more than a quarter of children aiming to become entrepreneurs when they are older, a traditional career path is looking increasingly unlikely for Gen-Alpha and Gen-Z.

This was reflected when GoHenry asked children to rank industries from the most to the least desirable for their future career.

Gaming, app development and healthcare were the most sought after, with law, finance and marketing all ranking relatively low. 

Nearly one in five kids are currently earning money from gaming, taking home on average £8.24 a month.  

However, 21 percent of kids still opted for more traditional part time jobs such as babysitting and dog-walking.

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