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.
In this article, I interviewed Sarah Jemma, a teen entrepreneur who is very proud of where she came from. Read on to know more.
THE INTERVIEW FOR THE TALKING WITH TEEN ENTREPRENEURS
Me: please introduce yourself(your name, where you come from, what are your passions/interests, what are you studying)
Sarah: My name is Sarah Jemaa, I’m a 17-year-old high school junior from Tunisia, North Africa and I’m majoring in mathematics (in my country we can choose majors in high school and senior year of high school is actually year 13, not 12 here). I have a lot of interests: Computer science, technology, astronomy, physics, and everything related to STEM but my dream is to work in the intersection of space and technology.
Me: YOU HAVE SOME WONDERFUL INTERESTS. nOW What problem are you trying to solve?
Sarah: Tourism is one of the most important sectors of Tunisia’s economy because it provides the second-largest percentage of the GDP, after the agricultural sector. But I’ve noticed that it hasn’t been moving forward and it’s still traditional (i.e. travel agencies). We’re in the twenty-first century. Everything is digitalized. It is an era where technology plays a pivotal role in every single aspect of our lives. So making use of it will be beneficial for this sector and will attract a lot of international tourists and introduce my country to the rest of the world.
Me: I SEE THAT YOUR COUNTRY IS VERY BEAUTIFUL AND I LOVE YOUR PROBLEM STATEMENT. Were you affected by the problem?
Sarah: I have been affected by this problem. This was the reason I am starting this project altogether. I have actually talked about it in my pitch at the EmpowerEcon camp. One summer we decided to go on a vacation, we knew our destinations but we had no idea about hotels there, any good restaurants, amusement parks or anywhere we could enjoy our time so the first thing we did was to look it up. We found a couple of websites but they only offered information about accommodations so my parents ended up contacting their friends who have been there asking for recommendations which were very time-consuming.
Me: what is the solution you’re putting forward?
Sarah: As any Gen Z living in the twenty-first century the first thing I thought about was a website or a mobile app. But then since I know some web development, I decided to go with the website to implement my skills. The website (and the project as a whole) is called Tourisia (a combination of two words; Tunisia and Tourism).
what it does
I wanted this website to offer its users every little piece of information that might be beneficial for them while planning their touristic journey. Starting from the basics: accommodation to restaurant recommendations, activities you can do, and insight into the culture of the place you’re deciding to visit, a blog to read about others’ experiences and share yours, a traveling guide, and even language learning resources if you want to mingle with the locals. This is just what I have in mind now but there will definitely be future iterations and maybe a mobile app.
Me: THAT IS A VERY INTERESTING SOLUTION, FIRST OF ITS KIND SHOULD I SAY? why do you think this idea will work?
Sarah: I think it will work because there’s not much competition and the tourism sector is not being digitized and changed to fit the twenty-first-century demands in terms of technological progress which is crucial. This is what I came to according to my very limited research but by doing good market research I will find out more and more about it.
Me: who is this TOURISIA aimed at?
Sarah: This is aimed at everyone. Everyone can go on an adventure to discover new places and enjoy their time. And this website is accessible and easy to use for anyone at any age.
Me: how wILL THE PEOPLE BENEFIT FROM TOURISIA?
Sarah: I created this project as a solution to a problem I personally faced that I think others might face too and the primary benefit of Tourisia is to save the user time by condensing all the resources into one place and it will make the process less stressful and overwhelming but more efficient and even educational.
Drawing inspiration from everyday life
Me: What has inspired you to create this solution?
Sarah: The one thing that inspired me the most is how beautiful my country Tunisia is. I take a lot of pride in being Tunisian and I want to show the world its beauty because I think it’s very underrated. Whenever anyone mentions North Africa the first thing that comes to mind is Morocco, and it’s obviously a very breath-taking country, but there are also other great places here and Tunisia is one of them if not the most beautiful, at least to me. You can come in any season of the year and leave satisfied. You can enjoy the snowy views in the north in winter, the beaches on the coasts or the island of Djerba in summer, and many more around the year.
Me: where do you see this TOURISIA in 5 years?
Sarah: To be honest, in the next 5 years I’ll be busy graduating high school, going to college, and pursuing my interest in studying a completely different field. This doesn’t mean that I’ll abandon this project but it might stay on hold until I have the necessary skill set to make it come to life or I’ll try incorporating it into my plans and working on it simultaneously along with my other projects. I definitely love the idea of this project and will be working on it in the future but I have other priorities working on my actual passions (in the STEM field)
Your final thoughts on teen entrepreneurs?
what does it mean to you to be a teen entrepreneur?
- Tourisia is my first ever project idea so I’m fairly new to the entrepreneurial world, but to me, being a teen entrepreneur means speaking up and telling the world my views and opinions, what I wish was different, and then making that difference through building projects. And it also means that I’m brave because I’m a very introverted person so having to pitch this project, present it and talk about it with others was way out of my comfort zone.
what does it take to be a teen entrepreneur?
- All it takes to be a teen entrepreneur is to have an idea and that’s it. That’s the hardest part of it actually, finding an idea that you’re passionate about then working on it, giving it your time and effort until it comes to life. You might feel discouraged sometimes and that’s ok but always remember the reason you started and that will give you the determination and persistence that will push you forward.
IMPORTANT LESSONS TO LEARN FROM TEEN ENTREPRENEURS
There are some very important lessons that we can learn from this interview.
One being, you can find opportunities everywhere. Sarah has taken her country’s tourism as an opportunity and is trying to digitize it and make it more relatable to today’s generation. Any topic that you take, there’s always a way of making existing better. It doesn’t necessarily have to be online.
Two, always know what you’re working for. What are you trying to achieve? What is going to be your end result? Without a clear idea and just the thought of creating a startup is basically useless. You need to have an idea, you need to know who you’re creating it for.
Finally, three, know what inspires you. Understand what skills and strengths you have. What motivates you to get out of bed every day? What are you constantly thinking about? Find out these things and try to incorporate them with solutions.
For those of you who find this idea interesting, I am attaching below Sarah’s pitch. This will give you guys first-hand. information about the project from the creator herself
And there you have it, inside the mind of the teen entrepreneur, Sarah Jemma!
To connect with me or Sarah, find us on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shreya-sathish-98a8a9205/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-jemaa-600b72219/