Young entrepreneur Ned Heaton is only 11 years old and is already half way through a year-long youth entrepreneur business program. With the company he created, “The Turtle Tribe”, he has just been announced as a 2019 finalist in the International BE THE CHANGE Awards.
Why did you go into business in the first place?
My parents advised me that being able to run my own business would give me more opportunities to have a positive impact in the world and be in control of my own destiny.
What do you sell?
Bamboo toothbrushes and other eco (plastic-free) products, so people can start to reduce their plastic use.
Why should people buy from you rather than one of your competitors?
My competitors are great people too! I’m happy whoever people buy bamboo toothbrushes off! I learn from my competitors (through modelling) so I’m glad they’re out there and helping spread the word – I’m just happy to contribute to the movement away from plastics. But to keep people buying my products I make sure they’re really good quality, and I give the best service I can. Showing that a kid can do this helps inspire people to make the switch away from plastics. The media love a ‘kid making a difference in the world’ story, so I know that I have a big opportunity to make a difference in the world and bring attention to this important issue.
What’s the best thing about owning a business?
I get to meet cool people. I can make a difference in the world. And eventually I hope it’ll bring some financial rewards too, but that’s not my main goal at the moment.
What’s the worst thing about owning a business?
Work-life balance. Sometimes I’d rather play lego or video games, but I know I have to work on my business if I want it to be successful. I can see the money side can be up and down. My sister has a job and just gets paid by the hour – she reckons it’s better than working hard for nothing. Maybe I’ll give her a job one day!
What words of advice would you give a teenage entrepreneur starting a business today?
Have mentors. Find something you’re passionate about. Find something that helps people or the planet, so you’re part of the solution, not the problem. Learn from others. Share your story. Build a network. Learn how to use marketing, especially online marketing. Business is easier for kids because everyone is happy to help and support you. Go for it!
Interview of Ned Heaton, Founder, The Turtle Tribe
Check the Be The Change Awards here.
To learn more about Ere Perez, click here.
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