The landscape of entrepreneurship has been actively changing with bright, young people such as Mikaila Ulmer making big things happen at the young age of 10.
These youngsters, or kidpreneurs, are making big things happen, winning over investors and walking away with start-up investments.
At age four, Mikaila founded BeeSweet Lemonade after two major events occurred--the first being that she was stung by a bee twice in one week. Shortly thereafter, her Great Granny Helen sent her a 1940s cookbook with a special flaxseed lemonade recipe. With this knowledge, Mikaila transformed her fear of bees into a passion for social entrepreneurship and BeeSweet Lemonade was born.
The recipe is unique because she sweetens each batch with honey made from local bees while other lemonades use sugars. Mikaila donates a percentage of the profits from the sale of her lemonade to local and international organizations fighting to save the bees.
When she appeared on Shark Tank recently, young Mikaila walked away with a sweet deal: FUBU CEO Daymond John invested $60,000 for a 25% stake in the company. He was instantly sold on her story. "Partnering with Mikaila made perfect sense," he said in a statement. "She's a great kid with a head for business and branding. She's got a great idea and I'm happy to help take BeeSweet to the next level."
Mikaila isn't the first kidpreneur to win the hearts and wallets of the Sharks. Ten-year old Ryan Kelly walked away from the show earlier this year with a $25,000 investment from Barbara Corcoran, in exchange for 25% of his all-natural dog treats business.
Other exceptional young business minds have seen great success going it alone. You might remember the story of Mo's Bows, the $150,000 business founded and operated by a 12-year old who now employs his family members.
Kidpreneurs are the wave of a rapidly growing future, as the societal and technological boundaries historically preventing them from succeeding are being torn down.
So how do you recognize a kidpreneur in the making? Look for the following traits:
Independent thinking- Although they ultimately make up their own mind, they do listen to everyone's opinions.
Fearlessness- Like success, they recognize that failure is also part of life. Yes, there is always the chance of failure, but there is also a great chance you will succeed. Kidpreneurs use fear of failure to motivate them to work even harder to succeed.
Accountability- They recognize and accept that for every action will be a reaction, which is pretty rare in children.
Collaborative- Any successful entrepreneur or business person (at any age) will tell you they needed a great team to help run the business, offer creative support and more.
Curiosity- Some of the most successful people in the world question everything around them and try to make sense of it. Our job is to encourage these traits in our kids and to help them find their passion so that we can see more kidpreneurs like Mikaila Ulmer living their dream.