The Business Wilderness podcast hosted special guest Steve MacDonald. Steve is the Founder of Teenage Entrepreneur Corporation. Teenage Entrepreneur Corporation is the place for teenagers interested in entrepreneurship to connect, learn and grow their skills, networks and businesses.
Mr MacDonald started with an economics degree, which he diverted into an accounting career, eventually ending up in investment management. He always wanted to work for himself, so he started his own investment management firm. The focus would not just be to get a return, but to also invest in what the business stood for.
At the time, he liked the idea of entrepreneurship and was doing some angel investing on the side. That was until he once invested in a 14 year old and noticed a pattern emerging in his investments. This caused him to leave investment management and start his own entrepreneurial journey with a new partner, creating the Teenage Entrepreneurs Corporation.
State of Business
The business is still at startup level and aims to become the go-to place for teenagers wanting to learn about entrepreneurship. The corporation helps fill the gaps for teenagers where many other startups struggle, particularly things like networks, education and business processes.
The organisation that these are difficult to obtain for founders of all ages, let alone teenagers just starting out in life as well as business. The mentoring they provide them with, coincided with the curriculumn helps them navigate the life-cycle of a startup. They also provide training and assistance in essential skills such as marketing and pitching to investors.
Attracting and Maintaining Talent
Much to his surprise, Steve mentions it being quite simple to find youngsters interested in entrepreneurship. Many teenagers have approached and asked to be apart of the program as a result of their intrigue. This is in-line with the huge media attention celebrity entrepreneurs receive and young people are looking to find ways to emulate these envious lifestyles.
The main form of recruitment is through word of mouth, allowing the business to become 400 members strong and they stay connected through a group on Linkedin.
The process employed to navigate them through the journey is two-fold, accompanied by mentorship and direction along the way:
- Determine the purpose of the young entrepreneur. Steve notes that if their purpose can be made clear, it is much easier to get them to put in the hard yards.
- Breaking down the process of starting a business into manageable chunks. By doing this, it simplifies what can often be an overwhelming process
Looking into the Future
The future is bright for the Teenage Entrepreneurs Corporation. With increased demand for the resource, they are looking to find new mentors and make contact with experienced entrepreneurs that can assist in teaching the students.
There is also a formalisation process taking place, where the company is looking to create a curriculumn that can be taught both online and in a face-to-face manner. This process has been received well around the world, as more interest and popularity surrounds the startup scene.
In his final remarks, Steve mentions that the world is changing and the jobs of the future are going to be quite different to what we're used to. They aim to help people create their own future and get ahead of the pack. With that, he highlights the importance of working with others and knowing that you don't have to go the journey alone.
It is an arduous and emotionally taxing journey that can be made easier with the company of others.
We thank Steve MacDonald for his insights into the wonderful world of teenage entrepreneurship and the great work his company is doing to help promote it.
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