Talking with teen entrepreneurs: Dreamcatcher

Everyone is fascinated when they hear entrepreneurs or teen entrepreneurs. Immediately they think of really big positions like CEOs. But the truth is, everyone’s beginnings may not be the easiest. It takes an immense amount of hard work and research and time. For instance, there’s only a 1 out 10 chance your business may become a success. The odds are not in your favor, right? Yet there are millions of startup owners out there trying to make their mark on this world. They are trying and striving every day to set themselves apart. They are trying to solve problems you face every day.

The ugly truth of the life of Teen Entrepreneurs

There are times where you have to place your startup before your family, school, and even friends. The life of teen entrepreneurs is not a fabulous one. That is of course in the beginning. Over a course of time, your business may start getting traction, more clients, and more. But reaching that point might be extensively difficult and hard.

If you readers are thinking, maybe this author is trying to convince us not to become startup owners. But the truth is I want everyone to become a startup owner. I want everyone to follow their passion and not rot away in a classroom. I’m just listing a few pressure points one might face starting from scratch. It’s just to see if you would fit being an entrepreneur.

Thanks to EmpowerEcon

A week ago I attended a virtual camp organized by a team called EmpowerEcon. I met some amazing individuals who are teen entrepreneurs. We had all presented our pitches. I was intrigued by all the amazing ideas. So I wanted to take a deeper dive and really explore the entrepreneurs and their thinking mindset. 

Last week I had interviwed Pavithra Vijayakumar and her idea Dispodo, which aimed at streamlining waste management. This week I am interviewing Saanvi Tripuramallu and her idea, Dreamcatcher.

THE INTERVIEW FOR THE TALKING WITH TEEN ENTREPRENEURS

Introduction

Me: Hey Saanvi, could you please introduce yourself briefly?

Saanvi: My name is Saanvi, I grew up in the United States but come from Indian heritage. A few years ago we moved to India, and pretty recently we moved to Ireland. My passions are pretty widespread. I absolutely love learning new things, anything from history to science. Currently, I’m exploring game theory and sociology. I love to read, and on occasion, I write as well. I’m currently in 11th grade in Rockford Manor secondary school. 

the problem

Me: Ohh you’re family is quite the traveling kind. That’s interesting as you can learn from so many different cultures. Now onto the project. what problem are you trying to solve?

Saanvi: My goal was to solve the problem of small businesses being prone to bankruptcy, as small events can cause a huge difference in the sales. Also, I was trying to make it more accessible to shop from small businesses, and generally bring more attention to them. My goal was to help small businesses thrive, and have a sense of security, especially during hard times. I wanted people to choose small businesses over large corporate industries, as small businesses are the ones that impact community.

Me: That’s a very important problem that you have chosen, because we need to support small businesses as well. Were you personally affected by the problem?

Saanvi: No, not really. I witnessed it all around me, and all over the news, but I wasn’t affected by it, first hand. When I’d go out for walks, or to buy groceries, a whole ton of small stores that had recently open, were closed. All the potential that was there, was gone. It was always at the back of my mind, nagging me. I wish things could have been different.

the solution

Me: What we can learn from this is we needn’t be affected by a problem to solve it. So what is the solution you’re putting forward?

Saanvi: The idea is an online platform- DreamCatcher- where small businesses in particular can open up virtual stores or booths. On the platform customers can: search up stores in their locality, see what products the store has, they can buy products online, check for discounts, contact owners, and filter stores/ products based on multiple factors. This would help stores expand their customer base, and help them gain exposure. The main reason people dont buy locally, is because they dont know where they can buy. 

The goal is not to have customers as a limiting factor is small businesses growth. I want people to reach their potential. 

Me: That is a really good idea. Now why do you think it will work?

Saanvi: It will work because the small businesses are now more accessible and can be found. Its like an online shopping mall. All the resources are in one place. From my research, most people said they would like to support local businesses, and buy from them, if they had competitive prices, and were more accessible. Awareness is the first step in creating change.

target audience

Me: That is great. Who are the people who would benefit from this?

Saanvi: This is aimed at small business, and their owners. I believe this platform will also be able to help rising entrepreneurs. Also: 

  • Anyone looking to expand their customer base 
  • Someone looking to bring an online presence to their business 
  • Anyone looking to increase sales 

Me: How will your target audience benefit from this solution?

Saanvi: Business owners would/could: 

  • Get visibility
  • Gain more customers & a wider range of customers 
  • Increase sales & profit 
  • Expand their business 
  • Operate business without a physical store 

Customers would be benefited by: 

  • Support small businesses
  • Know where your money is going 
  • Direct impact for small business owners
  • A wider range of items
  • Better customer service 
  • Smaller carbon footprint

By supporting the people around you, and buying locally, you foster community, and grow your own economy. 

drawing inspiration as a teen entrepreneur

Me: thank you for the very detailed analysis and also for providing a complete picture. What is the inspiration behind this project?

Saanvi: I believe the outside world, and what i saw, inspired to to create something that would help people, and create lasting impact. I want to make people’s lives easier and better. I want to help solve their problems. 

the future

Me: that is wonderful Saanvi. Now I may be a little futuristic with this one but why do you see your project in the next five years?

Saanvi: The future is uncertain, but I would love to grow this project and make it an actual application to use. I would want it to be used in everyday life, so people can have a better living. Once the application is in motion and is going well, I would want to add the concept of a delivery system that makes it easier for one to buy from small businesses outside their locality, or just to make the process of buying easier. 

Your final thoughts on teen entrepreneurs?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE A TEEN ENTREPRENEUR? 

To me, it means following my passion. I don’t feel like I’m going out of my way to do something, to impress people, or to reach the expectations of others; I’m just doing what i want to because I love it, and along the way I am creating change. 

Personally, I love the idea of being able to be a force of change; leaving the world a better place. 

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A TEEN ENTREPRENEUR?

All it takes in an idea, and the drive to make is possible. It’s never too late to start, or too early. 

IMPORTANT LESSONS TO LEARN FROM TEEN ENTREPRENEURS

There are quite a few lessons we can pick up from this interview.

The first one is, you do not have to be affected by the problem. You can still go ahead and solve it. You can understand what dealing with the problem is like by interviewing affected people and doing some online research.

The second is, always try to understand why or why not your idea might work and then accordingly you and keep making changes to it until it satisfies the target audience.

Be clear with what your target audience wants and what you are providing. Understand how your solution will benefit people as it will help later on to market this idea.

You can find me and Saanvi on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shreya-sathish-98a8a9205/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/saanvi-tripuramallu-6aa155214/

WRAPPING UP TALKING WITH TEEN ENTREPRENUERS

And that is a wrap for the talking with teen entrepreneurs series. I really enjoyed collaborating with the teen entrepreneurs. They were really cooperative and let me pick their brains. I am really inspired by all of them to make my community a better place. Thank you to all the audience who accompanied me from week 1 till week 5.

OTHER ARTICLES

Find my other articles from this series:

http://www.shreyatalks.in/talking-with-teen-entrepreneurs-project-tourisia/
http://www.shreyatalks.in/talking-with-teen-entrepreneurs-genesis/
http://www.shreyatalks.in/talking-with-teen-entrepreneurs-project-dispodo/
http://www.shreyatalks.in/talking-with-teen-entrepreneurs-menta_llystrong/

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