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Meet a Mentor: Alice Jackson, President, Xcel Energy – Colorado

Janet Redwine Events, Get Involved, YouthBiz Leave a Comment

Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars, the annual business competition and gala benefitting Young Americans Center for Financial Education is just a few weeks away!  As a result, this month we’re introducing esteemed mentor Alice Jackson, President of Xcel Energy – Colorado.  Jackson joins a group of distinguished Denver-area business people willing to share their experience and knowledge by mentoring an up-and-coming …

Even though he’s only 16 years old, Shouken Lopez has found so much success as an entrepreneur that part of his business involves teaching others how to be successful! Shouken’s online store uses dropshipping to fulfill orders.  The products are shipped directly from a wholesaler, and Shouken’s profits come from the margins in between.  Shouken is a finalist in this year’s Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition.

Learn more about Shouken below, and watch his segment on Colorado & Company .

Question: Tell me a little bit about you – name, age, how long you’ve been an entrepreneur?

Answer: My name is Shouken Lopez, I am 16 years old and I have been an entrepreneur for around 3 years now.

Q: Do you have a website? If so, let us know what it is.

A: Yes, I do have a website: https://theteenentrepreneur.teachable.com/p/pro 

Q: What motivated or inspired you to start a business?

A: What motivated me to start my business was the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.  It widened my perspective and outlook on life. I learned how fun business was and haven’t stopped since.

Q: Please share an overview about your business.

A: When I first started business, I didn’t know what to do. I feel like that is the case with most people out there who want to be entrepreneurs. Luckily, I was able to come across “Dropshipping” which essentially is creating a store with products from a wholesaler. Once you get an order on your store, you have the wholesaler ship the product directly to the customer so you don’t have to touch a single product and you make the margins in between. I have done extensive research over the past years and found myself to be very profitable. As a result, I have made a course to teach others specifically teenagers and younger people, how to make money with an eBay store without touching a single product.

Q: Tell us about some of the challenges you face being a young business owner.

A: Some of the challenges are days where you do not get that much sales, I run Snapchat and Instagram ads for my business and It can be frustrating when you spend $100 on an advertisement, get a lot of visitors, but no conversions. You, however, can only learn from these mistakes and keep moving forward.

Q: Why should other young youth start a business?

A: Other youth should start a business because it’s not as hard as it seems. And with my program, I give you all the tools necessary to run your very own profitable online business so if you don’t know what kind of business you want to do, it’s a great starting point!

Q: What’s the best part about having your own business?

A: The best part of running your own business is that you work for yourself. It’s on your hours and you get whatever you put into it.

Q: So you’re one of the finalists for the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition-Congratulations! What motivated you to apply for the competition, and what do you hope to get from the competition?

A: What motivated me to apply for youth biz stars competition was the opportunities I knew would come if I were to go far in the competition. Even now they are giving me the opportunity to be on TV so I am super grateful for that. I just hope to network with other like-minded individuals.

Q: Please share about your involvement with Young Americans.

A: I am a finalist for the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars competition, I am not as involved as I would like to be however it’s a goal to be able to mentor other kids who are part of the program and help out other young entrepreneurs.

Monthly Entrepreneur: Shouken Lopez, The Teen Entrepreneur

Janet Redwine YouthBiz Leave a Comment

Even though he’s only 16 years old, Shouken Lopez has found so much success as an entrepreneur that part of his business involves teaching others how to be successful! Shouken’s online store uses dropshipping to fulfill orders.  The products are shipped directly from a wholesaler, and Shouken’s profits come from the margins in between.  Shouken is a finalist in this year’s …

Hayden Hopkins has her own business creating notecards called Lightner Designs.  Her hand-drawn designs are impressive—it’s hard to believe she’s only 11 years old!  Hayden is a finalist in the 2019 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition.

Learn more about Hayden below, and watch her segment on Colorado & Company !

Question: Tell me a little bit about you – name, age, how long you’ve been an entrepreneur?

Answer: My name is Hayden Hopkins, I’ll be 12 in September.  I started selling handmade bookmarks about four years ago to neighbors and friends. I started Lightner Designs on my 11thbirthday and I’ve participated in two YouthBiz marketplaces at the Young Americans Center for Financial Education.

Q: Do you have a website? If so, let us know what it is.

A: Yes, I do have a website: www.lightnerdesigns.etsy.com 

Q: What motivated or inspired you to start a business?

A: I like to share my art to make people smile. I also like to be able to save my own money.  My parents loaned me money for my 11th birthday to start a business on Etsy.

Q: Please share an overview about your business.

A: My business is primarily a note card business.  I have about 20 different styles, including some holiday ones. I also sell gift tags and few bookmarks at the marketplace, but not online.

Q: Tell us about some of the challenges you face being a young business owner.

A: There are few challenges to being a young business owner.  I have to have a lot of help from my parents with shipping, printing, the website and filing taxes.  Sometimes people say no to carrying your product, and it’s sometimes hard not to feel discouraged.

Q: Why should other young youth start a business?

A: I’d definitely encourage other youth to start a business.  It teaches responsibility, you have to learn discipline to keep it going.  They can make their own money.  And, they can share their talents with the world.

Q: What’s the best part about having your own business?

A: There are three reasons why I like having my own business.  You learn a lot about how to manage money and planning for sales events.  I’ve been able to meet other nice business owners when trying to sell my cards to them.  And, it makes me feel happy when other people give me positive feedback about my business.

Q: So you’re one of the finalists for the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition-Congratulations! What motivated you to apply for the competition, and what do you hope to get from the competition?

A: I learned about other winners that received money for their business and my mom suggested I enter the competition–so I did.  I hope to get paired with a business mentor to learn about how to grow my business and what I can do better.

Q: Please share about your involvement with Young Americans.

A: I first learned about Young Americans when my 5th grade class took a field trip to the Young AmeriTowne program.  Also, when I was trying to sell my cards to local businesses, one of them suggested we look into the YouthBiz Marketplace.  I had a lot of fun at the Marketplace and sold quite a bit of product and it made me want to do it again!

Monthly Entrepreneur: Hayden Hopkins, Lightner Designs

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Hayden Hopkins has her own business creating notecards called Lightner Designs.  Her hand-drawn designs are impressive—it’s hard to believe she’s only 11 years old!  Hayden is a finalist in the 2019 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition. Learn more about Hayden below, and watch her segment on Colorado & Company! Question: Tell me a little bit about you – name, …

Hannah Reyes used her initials to create the name of her business, HER Designs four years ago when she was eight.  She sells a variety of products, including hairclips, mirrors, popsockets, and mini-personal alarms, but all have a signature rosette that she hand-makes out of fabric.  Hannah is a finalist in the 2019 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition.

Learn more about Hannah below, and watch her segment on Colorado & Company !

Question: Tell me a little bit about you – name, age, how long you’ve been an entrepreneur?

Answer: Hi, My name is Hannah Reyes and I am the owner of HER Designs, I am 12 years old.   I have been in business for 4 years.  I started HER Designs when I was 8 years old.

Q: Do you have a website? If so, let us know what it is.

A: My website is www.herdesigns.net . You can also follow me in Facebook and Instagram under HER Design Store.

Q: What motivated or inspired you to start a business?

A: Initially, I was inspired to make products for my own use. For example, I started making the rosette clips so I can use them for my hair.  Then people start noticing them and wanted to buy them.  The same thing happened for most of my other products. Another example is for my latest product, the mini-personal alarm.  I was inspired to have a gadget for girls safety in time for my service trip to Peru.   That’s when my mini personal alarm product was born.

Q: Please share an overview about your business.

A: My initial is HER which stands for Hannah Elizabeth Reyes. This is the inspiration for my business name.   HER Designs sells hair clips and other accessories.   In all of my products, I have maintained the rosette as a signature design.  I have now established sub-brands for HER Designs such as HER Safety for my mini personal alarms and HER School Spirit for custom made hair accessories to match school uniforms.

My latest product is my mini personal alarm that you can attach to your bag or belt.  It sounds loud when pulled and it works to catch attention whenever you feel unsafe.

Q: Tell us about some of the challenges you face being a young business owner.

A: The hardest part in running a business as a young entrepreneur is having the access to selling products.   When I started looking at retail opportunities and people hear that I am only 12, the first reaction is to turn me down.   I have learned that these types of experiences shouldn’t discourage me and other young business owners but rather gives me more inspiration to stand up,  do better and try again.  It gives me a voice to say that age does not matter in making quality products.

Q: Why should other youth start a business?

A: You learn so many life skills in starting a business.   You learn to be creative and try new things.  You learn how to deal with successes and failures which will be valuable later in life.

Q: What’s the best part about having your own business?

A: The best part for me is making my products – being creative with it, figuring out how to innovate and trying something new.   I love learning how to make good quality products and meeting a lot of people.     All these while pursuing something that I love to do.

Q: So, you’re one of the finalists for the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition–congratulations! What motivated you to apply for the competition, and what do you hope to get from this experience?

A: I am really excited to be one of the finalists this year.  This is my second year to join the competition.  I was a finalist last year as well.   My business improved a lot since last year’s competition and I got motivated to join again to further improve my business exposure.

Q: Please share about your involvement with Young Americans.

A: I am really thankful for what Young Americans does for youth.  They gave me the opportunity to sell my products when I started.   Young Americans is inspiring kids to try something new and learn along the way.  I have been selling in their Marketplaces for 4 years now.  Also, they are giving me the opportunity to share my story and provide guidance to kids who are thinking of starting a business.

Monthly Entrepreneur: Hannah Reyes, HER Designs

Janet Redwine YouthBiz Leave a Comment

Hannah Reyes used her initials to create the name of her business, HER Designs four years ago when she was eight.  She sells a variety of products, including hairclips, mirrors, popsockets, and mini-personal alarms, but all have a signature rosette that she hand-makes out of fabric.  Hannah is a finalist in the 2019 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition. Learn …

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Meet a Mentor: Leroy Williams, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CyberTeKIQ LLC

Janet Redwine Events, Get Involved, YouthBiz Leave a Comment

This week, we invite you to meet the second of our three distinguished mentors hosting a youth entrepreneur in the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition.  Leroy Williams is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CyberTeKIQ LLC, a management consulting company that helps businesses understand the technology landscape. Entrepreneurship has defined Williams for as long as he can remember.  As …

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Meet a Mentor: Ryan Beiser, Regional President and Head of Corporate Banking, PNC Bank

Janet Redwine Events, Get Involved, YouthBiz Leave a Comment

Every year, the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition pairs three Denver-area business leaders with three up-and-coming youth entrepreneurs.  The first mentor we are highlighting for this year’s 18th annual competition is Ryan Beiser, PNC regional president and head of Corporate Banking for Colorado. Beiser’s extensive background in business and finance and most importantly, his personal commitment to community engagement and …

Jack Fleming is the 18-year-old owner of a lawn care business called Yard Boyz.  Due to his dedication and vision, the business has steadily grown over the last five years, and in 2018 Jack made $25,000 in profit! Jack’s goals for this summer include staying on top of his administrative work and expanding his business. He is a finalist in the 2019 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition.

Watch Jack pitch his business on Colorado & Company,  and learn more about him and his business below.

Question: Tell me a little bit about you – name, age, how long you’ve been an entrepreneur?

Answer: My name is Jack Fleming and I am a recent high school graduate. I started Yard Boyz 5 years ago.

Q: What motivated or inspired you to start a business?

A: I was motivated to start Yard Boyz because I wanted to have money of my own. I enjoyed cutting lawns, and I thought it was a simple way to make a little extra money.

Q: Please share an overview of your business.

A: Yard Boyz is a general landscaping service that specializes in weekly lawn mowing. We also do small- to medium-sized landscaping projects in the Centennial area.

Q: Do you have a website or place for people to contact you/buy products?If so, what is it?

A: I currently do not have a website.

Q: Tell us about some of the challenges you face being a young business owner.

A: One of the top challenges about running my business is making sure that I keep all the little details straight with regard to scheduling, payroll, employee scheduling, billing, and equipment.

Q: What’s the best part about having your own business?

A: My favorite part about having my own business is learning what it truly takes to be an adult and have a job. Some of my friend’s experiences cannot compare to the things I have had to do and the responsibilities I have had to manage.

Q: Would you encourage other young people to start a business? Why or why not?

A: Of course. I personally believe that almost all students in high school should have businesses if they want one. It teaches them so many valuable skills.

Q: What is your involvement with Young Americans Center for Financial Education?

A: I applied to their YourthBiz business competition and have been named a finalist for the past two years. Also, when I was younger, I participated in AmeriTowne as an Accountant at the Utility Center.

Q: I hear that congratulations are in order—you’re a finalist in this year’s Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition! Tell us about this award and how it could help your business improve.

A: This award seeks to help small businesses improve from ages 6-21. I am grateful to be named a finalist, and I plan to use the money awarded to help replace some worn out equipment that I have been using.

Monthly Entrepreneur: Jack Fleming, owner of Yard Boyz

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Jack Fleming is the 18-year-old owner of a lawn care business called Yard Boyz.  Due to his dedication and vision, the business has steadily grown over the last five years, and in 2018 Jack made $25,000 in profit! Jack’s goals for this summer include staying on top of his administrative work and expanding his business. He is a finalist in the 2019 Spotlight …

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Sponsor Spotlight: Kids gain real sales experience at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children

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Walk into Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, and you’ll immediately see a kid-friendly gift shop filled with toys, games, stuffed animals, candy, and even products made by young entrepreneurs.  This unique space is the result of a special partnership between Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children and a YouthBiz Star entrepreneur. In 2015, Rocky Mountain Hospital …

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Meeting the Stars: Young Americans Center names top Colorado youth businesses

Janet Redwine Events, YouthBiz 2 Comments

Youth business owners, family members, and fans gathered at Young Americans Center for Financial Education on Tuesday for the Meet the Stars event, which recognized the 46 applicants to this year’s Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition.  The room was filled with both inspiration and anticipation! During the event, Anna Leer, Vice President of YouthBiz, and Rich Martinez, President and …

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Concept of the Month: Be Your Own Boss

Janet Redwine Bank, YouthBiz Leave a Comment

Be your own boss, start your own business, create your own invention! You don’t have to be an adult to start your own business. Take a look at these kids who started their own businesses and entered our Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars competition in 2018: Liam Lennon, age 12, Owner of The Lucky Penny Emily Rudnick, age 15, Creator of …