Self-employment: Is that where the kids went?


An astonishing number of self-employed people are less than sixteen years old. Some are ten.

I’m self-employed. Have been since my teenage daughter was a baby. I blame her for pushing me out of the nine-to-five. But I also thank her for it. Working for myself is amazing. I will never go back to a full-time, on site job. I have too many side interests, too much freedom, too much control.

I am not alone, according to a survey from FreshBooks. The data scientists at FreshBooks found that 30% of Americans work for themselves, at least part-time.

This isn’t that surprising. What’s more surprising is that 36% started their own business before they were sixteen. A remarkable 8% were under ten years old.

Naturally, most (90%) of those young entrepreneurs had a support system. Their parents helped them write the business plan, funded the business, and helped them sell the product.

I don’t want to add anything to your parenting pressures. Or my own. But maybe the next time your child has a brilliant idea for a lemonade stand (or an app or game), you might like to know that for some of the world’s self-employed, this is how they started out. And maybe it’s time my no-longer-a-baby daughter started her own business.


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