Some NYC Teens Create Their Own Summer Jobs

May 29, 2008
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

This is a new take on old-fashioned summer jobs.

Hundreds of teens from across the five boroughs in New York City, who are part of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, are looking to “make a job, not take a job.”

These students certainly have the entrepreneurial spirit.

Take Amanda Loyola, a 15-year-old 10th-grader at Horace Mann in Manhattan. Her eco-friendly pet business, EcoDog Treats, produces inexpensive, vegetarian dog treats.

Or look at Jelani Anglin, a 16-year-old junior at Elmont Memorial High School in Queens. His company, No Bones, provides exclusive electronic equipment priced at least 10% below its competitors.

Loyola and Anglin are just two students competing for venture funding of as much as $1,200 to help them launch their start-ups. This is all part of the annual New York Regional Business Plan Competition, slated for June 10.

Spoken like a true entrepreneur, Loyola says her eco-pet business “is way better than a summer job, because with a summer job it’s just the summer.”

As part of this competition, Loyola and others will learn business concepts such as developing income statements; conducting market research; and completing and presenting business plans.

“When you have your own business it could be a stable thing throughout the whole year as your income,” she says.

Still, don’t rule these ambitious students out as future workers at your company. Barbara Reuter, metro executive director of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, says “many of our NFTE students may return to traditional employment, yet they’ve learned how the economy operates, which makes them much better business people.”

In addition, Reuter points to research from Harvard and Brandeis universities that the NFTE students tend to set their sights on higher academic goals such as attending and completing college.

Teen summer employment is expected to fall to the lowest rate in the 60-year history of government jobs data. The Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University says working teens ages 16 to 19 will slide to 34%, down from 45% in 2000 and a high of 48.5% in 1989. A lot of this increased competition can be attributed to adults competing for the same low-skilled, hourly jobs in the service and retail industries.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.