Why Colleges Love Young Entrepreneurs
ENTREPRENEURSHIP SHOWS MOTIVATION AND INDEPENDENCE
Anyone can join a club or volunteer with an established organization. But it takes a young entrepreneur to start a business from scratch and make it work. That takes motivation, and colleges love seeing that.
Becoming a young entrepreneur in high school shows that you’re mature enough to learn what you need to know and apply it to a real-world situation. You’re willing to learn beyond the classroom. You take the initiative. You’ll be a solid contributor to your college.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP SHOWS LEADERSHIP
We can’t stress this enough: the top quality of a successful entrepreneur is solid leadership. Why? Leaders look for solutions. They inspire others. They work hard and take responsibility. Leaders have a “how can I help?” mentality. They are curious and ready to learn more.
Colleges want leaders because leaders strive for success, both in college and after graduation.
ENTREPRENEURS GO BEYOND BOOK LEARNING
Successful entrepreneurs know that there isn’t one right path to follow. They don’t become successful by dogmatically sticking to a set of rules. The most successful entrepreneurs out there are those who find creative solutions to common problems. They analyze what works and what doesn’t and go from there. They learn from experience.
Other teens applying to the same schools as you probably have similar grades. Anyone can memorize facts for a test. But entrepreneurship requires a set of skills you won’t learn in a textbook. And that’s what will make your college application stand out to the admissions committee.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP TEACHES YOU TO OVERCOME FAILURE
It’s in a college’s best interest to retain the students they accept and see them graduate. We won’t lie: some of that interest is financial. But some of it is about improving the school’s reputation for graduating successful students who go on to fulfilling careers.
When colleges see entrepreneurship on your application, they see someone who has already persisted through failure and setbacks. They know you won’t bail on the school at the first hint of a challenge.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPS CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
Your GPA reflects how well you did on tests and homework. It doesn’t measure how well you can think for yourself. Colleges want students who can go beyond the syllabus and apply what they’ve learned to the real world. They want students who will engage with the material, not just memorize facts.
Entrepreneurship shows colleges that you already have the critical thinking skills they want in a student.
YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN COLLEGE
As a young entrepreneur, you’ve experienced parts of the world your non-entrepreneurial peers haven’t. You know what it’s like to make business deals. You understand how budgeting works. You’ve managed school-work-life balance. You’ll start your college career with the life skills you need to succeed as a freshman and beyond. Remember, colleges prefer students they think will thrive and contribute to campus culture. Being a young entrepreneur shows you can do exactly that.
ENTREPRENEURS KNOW HOW TO SEE A PROJECT ALL THE WAY THROUGH
College isn’t for quitters. Including entrepreneurship in your application shows you know how to finish what you start. You’ll commit to your college education and see it through to graduation. You’ll likely be an active participant in clubs, athletics, and other programs the school has to offer. You won’t just glide through and hope you do well enough to graduate.
ENTREPRENEURS KNOW HOW TO NETWORK
Networking is crucial for business owners. Especially when you’re starting out, you need to find the right people to help you. Whether they’re venture capitalists who can provide funding or your first customers, networking is a life skill. And if you’ve already learned that skill in high school as a young entrepreneur, colleges are more willing to bet that you’ll continue to network while you’re on their campus. This means finding mentors, launching new ventures, and hooking yourself up with top jobs after graduation. (Which makes the school look good.)
ENTREPRENEURS HAVE A WIDE RANGE OF SKILLS AND TALENTS
You already know that your college application should make you look well-rounded. You should have a range of passions and commitments that show you aren’t a one-trick pony who only gets good grades.
Entrepreneurship in high school proves you know how to do a lot of things well. You can balance a budget! You can market yourself! You’re creative! You can prioritize projects and make things happen!
ENTREPRENEURSHIP RESOURCES FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Now that we’ve convinced you of the value of entrepreneurship while you’re still in high school, here are some ways you can get started or keep growing.
This website is designed for teens like you who want to start, manage, or grow your own business. It’s packed with ideas and advice for every stage of your process!
Ready to start your business? Mighty provides all the tools you need to open a business right now. Design products, start a website, and get selling today!
-> BETA Camp
Sign up for this online program to connect with other young entrepreneurs, meet business professionals, and start your own business. BETA Camp focuses on solving real-world problems, hands-on experience, and communication.
Another online program (they also offer in-person programs in San Francisco) for young entrepreneurs! Leangap teaches you how to build an idea, launch a startup, and sell your product or service.
Whatever it is you love to do, and wherever you are in your high school journey, entrepreneurship is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Not only will you (hopefully!) earn money and learn valuable life skills, but you’ll give yourself that extra boost you need to get into the college of your dreams. (And earn those scholarships you deserve!)
Find out more about the Kantner Foundation, including our college scholarships for young entrepreneurs in Florida, by clicking here. We look forward to your application!