The 11 Best Small Business Ideas for 17-year-olds

Most successful business people, for example Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg started out when they were teenagers. Therefore, being a teenager should not hinder you from starting your business (how to start a business as a teenager).

With the resources that are available today, teenagers are even better positioned and equipped to start a business for themselves and make their own money through entrepreneurship. 

In this article we are going to highlight a few examples of small business ideas that are profitable and suitable for teenagers. They include;

Small Business Ideas for a 17-year-old to Make Extra Cash


Are you good at a certain subject or skill, science, art, music or math maybe? You can earn extra money by offering tutoring lessons to other students. This can be done by coming up with teaching courses or by helping your tutorial clients with their assignments while making sure that they understand the involved concepts. 

The best part about tutoring is that it can be done either online or on a one-on-one basis. On average, a tutorial fellow can make anywhere from $15 – $40 per hour. 

Selling Handmade Items

This is a great option for those creative teens who like to craft items. Handmade items that you can sell include candles, mats, throw pillows, jewelry, lip balms, decorative art etc. you could sell these items at your local stores, flea markets, garage sale or even online on platforms such as Etsy which is a great place for selling crafts. For each sale you make, Etsy takes a small commission from it for providing you with the platform and ready clients.  

Run People’s Errands

Life can sometimes get overwhelming with things to do and so little time. As such, people will always be grateful to have a helping hand for some of these duties. Running errands could involve activities such as going to the grocery, picking up and dropping off kids from school, gardening, etc. 

For this job, you can easily get referrals locally however, to be able to reach a wider scope of clients, you can also set up an online account on a platform such as TaskRabbit and Gig walk. 

Open a Video Game Center

Play stations, the latest craze being the PS5, are a bit expensive therefore not everyone can afford to purchase one. It is also well known that teenagers love playing video games and relate well with other people their age. As a teenager, you therefore have the advantage of starting a video gaming business. 

Baking and Selling Cookies and Cupcakes

There are a whole lot of people who love eating cookies and cupcakes but do not know how to bake. Therefore, if you are good at baking, you can make these items and sell them to your friends, family and neighbors. Selling cupcakes and cooking is a very profitable small business idea for a 17-year-old, all you need to ensure is that the cookies taste well and are well packaged. 

Small Business Ideas for a 17-year-old to Build on

Below is a list of some small business ideas for a 17-year-old that they can start and build a longtime successful career on.

Photography Business

In this era of social media, freelancing and eCommerce, photography has become a vital component for everyone. Therefore, if you enjoy and are good at taking photos and editing, you might want to consider starting a photography business. Alongside photography, you can also do video and film coverage as well as start a teen-related magazine. 

Photography can be very demanding at times. Therefore, you should seek to network and work with others in the same line of work. 

Event Planning

This involves collaborating with catering and event decoration services to help bring an event to life as per the client’s wishes. In the beginning, you can start with simple events such as kids’ and teens’ birthday parties, hangout events and graduation parties. With time as you gain experience and understanding of the business, you can venture into planning weddings and corporate functions. 

Laundry Services

A laundry business is one that you can start at a small scale from home with what you already have. For this, you need to seek permission from your parents or guardian to use the home washing machine and iron. Other requirements such as detergent and bleach you can purchase using your savings, if you do not have any, you can get online and make fast money to get you started.

With time, using your savings, you can expand your business and purchase good commercial equipment. 

Start a Cloth Line

If you have a good eye on fashion and what is trending, then this is a good small business opportunity for a 17-year-old. The opportunities in this venture are limitless therefore it all narrows down to your preference. You can decide to either do dropship, have a physical store or you can get into the business of resale which is fast rising with people becoming more environmentally conscious and anti-fast fashion. You could also decide to become a personal shopper, shopping for specific items that have been requested by your clients. 

Car Wash Services

More and more people are owning cars these days including teenagers. Therefore, a car wash service is a viable and profitable small business for a 17-year-old. Ensure that you have a strategic location for this. The area should be easily accessible and in a busy location. This way you will be able to get more clients. You can also open up a snack bar or fast food joint within your premises where people can hangout (teenage hangout business ideas) as they wait for their cars to be washed. 

Cosmetic Business

The cosmetic industry is a multimillion-dollar industry that is rarely affected even by economic hardships. Therefore, as a teenager, you can source good quality cosmetic products and sell them at a profit either through an online shop or you can set up a physical shop. Items you can easily sell include lip balms, lipsticks, eyelashes, nail polish, eyeshadows amongst many other items that ladies use for their day to day grooming. 

Bottom Line

There are tons of other small business ideas that teenagers can start and reap huge profits. Also, as you will come to realize, being your boss can be very rewarding in the long run. Therefore, you need to put in the hard work, be persistent and do not be discouraged. 

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