Why should youth wait until they’re grown ups to try and change the world? Studying and preparing for the future is great, but there’s no better preparation than actual doing. Most youth go to school and concoct dreams of making a difference in the world…someday…in the future. But people like 11 year-old Mikaila Ulmer from Austin, Texas aren’t waiting around. Mikaila founded her company, Me & the Bees Lemonade, when she was just 9 years old and now her lemonade is sold across the country at Whole Foods Markets and other natural food stores. But amazing as it is to be the founder of a multi-million dollar company at the age of 11, the coolest thing is how much of an impact she’s having on raising awareness on saving the bees. She didn’t need anybody’s permission and she most certainly didn’t wait until she was a grown up to start trying to change the world.

Another example is Kosmo Nerdin from Walla Walla, Washington. Kosmo is also 11 years old and started his business when he was 9. He owns and operates a chocolate chip cookie business and has a growing list of monthly subscribers. The positive influence that running his own business has had on Kosmo’s self-esteem and confidence has been amazing. After Kosmo had been in business for a year, he signed up to be a fundraiser for an overcrowded school in Uganda. He baked hundreds and hundreds of cookies and sold them outside his house during a large music festival nearby. Kosmo profited over $600 and donated every penny of his earnings to his fundraiser. Now that’s changing the world! There are now new walls standing at Kisimbiri Primary school in Uganda thanks in part to Kosmo’s contribution.

When youth engage in entrepreneurship, they move past the hypothetical scenarios and role-playing of school, but they’re STILL learning and preparing for the future. Which is why we at EMBERFUEL work as hard as we can to help as many youth as possible discover entrepreneurship and receive the support they need to succeed.