May 23, 2024

Across our nation, we’re seeing the wave of disappointment for our teens who won’t have a graduation or go to prom. Things the majority of us got to enjoy and never questioned if they would be in our future.
But what about teens who have businesses?
Not only are teens involved in the WIT program (Whatever It Takes!) dealing with these new disappointments along with their peers, they are having to navigate some really tough waters as their businesses take a hit too.
WIT is a program for students 9th -12th grade, teaching them the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. They startup businesses and run them with the guidance of WIT faculty.
Here are some inspiring teens and how they are navigating the new landscape of business during this pandemic.
How COVID-19 Is Affecting These Teen Entrepreneurs | Stephanie Burns
Provide Value In A New Way
“My organization is called The Good Neighbor and what we do is hold pop-up shops which consist of clothing and hygiene supplies, for the homeless of San Diego. The idea of the pop-up shop was designed to make the homeless feel valuable and as if they were getting the shopping experience. But, due to COVID-19 our recent event couldn’t be a pop-up shop since the whole situation of social distancing. These circumstances, however, were not going to get in the way of making a donation and continuing to do whatever it takes. On Monday, March 16th, we went to Stand Up For Kids Shelter and instead of doing a pop-up shop we just did a drop-off. Although as more restrictions show up and we may not be able to hold events near the future, we continue to pivot in different ways. The Good Neighbor is making Instagram posts, creating short videos, showing people how they can clean out their closets during self-quarantine and donate the clothing, and reflecting on the past to strive for more in the future. We are making the best of the situation!” – Fania Pupko, founder of The Good Neighbor

Problem Solve On The Spot
“Working from home has proven to be difficult as it is hard to differentiate between a work and home life. I have learned from WIT to never completely sell myself to one business idea or one business approach. In my case, I questioned if my current business idea was best suited for my community during this global crisis. COVID-19 has given me an outlook into the real world by teaching me how to pivot my business ideas and problem solve on the spot.” – Sarina Chitkara, founder of Plan For The Future

Change The Delivery
“After COVID-19 started to spread, I quickly realized that I would no longer be able to host in-person events for Kids Hack, but I wasn’t going to let this stop me. Instead, I switched my hackathons to be completely virtual. I have created a weekly “hack” to be sent out to kids and parents which consists of a guide to create a game focused on an essential coding idea so that they can learn, and create games for themselves to play while sitting at home! I have also made these hacks interactive with the parents as well so that their kids learn with them while they are sitting at home, so that they can get their mind off of things. This transition to being virtual has been great for my business as many parents are looking for ways for their kids to learn. It has also given me time to work on Kids Hack and create a full-blown curriculum. Even though the Coronavirus started out as a roadblock, it ended up giving me a great silver lining.” – Lolita Rozenbaum, founder of Kids Hack.

Address Needs As They Come Up
“COVID-19 has definitely brought some uncertainty to my family and community. However, I think it is important to stay optimistic and find the silver-lining in things. WIT has taught me to do this and to never be afraid to pivot business ideas. In my business, I have chosen to find the silver lining and reflect upon what I have accomplished so far. My business is called Smile It Forward. It is an organization that makes and delivers care-packages to kids going through chemotherapy. Although I will not be able to do another drop off for the next couple of months, I am looking to find different ways to help my community in any way that I can. I have been emailing back and forth with the hospital to find any other way to support and cheer them up during this time (possibly sending card). The silver-lining in this is that I will be able think differently to address different needs that are currently important.” – Abi Erle, founder of Smile It Forward
These teens all have one thing in common: the ability to adapt and find the positive. So inspiring!
Stephanie Burns is the founder of Chic CEO, a resource for female entrepreneurs starting businesses. Download a free business plan template and follow Chic CEO on Twitter and Instagram

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