Lincoln Students Get Down to Business

Submitted by Kyler Wang on Thu, 10/24/2019 - 11:46 - 0 Comments
Lincoln Students Get Down to Business
Written and Designed by Kyler Wang
In March, my friend Kai and I launched Spark Teen, a company funding and elevating teen entrepreneurship through venture investments and selling opportunities. In August, we held our first event, a night market featuring a space for teen vendors to sell their products and a Shark Tank-style pitching room with $1000 in prizes. Since then, we’ve grown to additional locations in Seattle, San Diego, Boston, and New York. Through Spark Teen and my involvement in several other teen-led startups, I’ve been able to connect with teen entrepreneurs across Oregon. 
Four Entrepreneurial Ways to Make Money
1. Re-selling
If you keep your eyes open, there’s so much opportunity to re-sell out there. Look for hidden gems - thrift stores and garage sales can be good places to start. Internet wholesalers like AliExpress and Alibaba are good places to buy products cheap and in bulk. Since launching his apparel reselling company last year, Lincoln sophomore Xander Levine has made over $30,000 in sales through his Instagram account @premepdx. 
2. Turn Your Passion Into a Business
Whether it’s creating art, cooking treats, solving math problems or playing soccer, your passion can easily become a business. Use your skill to create products people want to buy, sell your time as a specialist, or start a business teaching others that skill.
3. Bundle and Sell
Are there any items that people always buy together? You can save customers time and money by selling these items together in a bundle. After noticing that college-bound seniors always bought large amounts of merch from the college they were going to, Canyon Crest Academy junior Isaac Lustig realized he could make money buying merch wholesale and selling “bundles” to seniors.  He's made thousands of dollars from just his school alone.
4. Content Creation
As a young person, your voice is valuable. Companies are constantly looking for ways to connect with younger audiences. As a teen, you can create visual and written content that can extend a brand’s audience in ways that adult content creators can’t. Don’t be afraid to reach out to larger brands to offer your skills - who knows what can happen.
Even though the world of entrepreneurship is filled with the opportunity to succeed, it is not an equal playing field. There remains a large gender gap in both representation and funding. According to recent studies, American women are half as likely to become entrepreneurs compared to their male counterparts, and even after starting a business, female-led ventures are 63 percent less likely to receive external funding. Lincoln has tackled this gender-gap head-on, with more female students enrolling in business classes and clubs, such as Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Last year in our Spring 2019 issue, we featured Tasneem Sarkez, who started a business selling her artwork and clothing, an example of Lincoln students taking strides to solve gender inequity in business. While Lincoln has been taking steps forward, the majority of student-led businesses are started by white males. Below, read about four of Lincoln's entrepreneurs and their businesses.
Archie Barnes 
Barnes began creating clothing as a creative outlet after receiving a sewing machine for his birthday. After friends at school asked to buy his clothing, he launched his company, Moose. Moose produces 100 percent renewable clothing made from reused fabrics and pieces of clothing sourced from second-hand stores all around Portland. They sell their clothing on Instagram and Depop @moosecompanyy. “On a more personal level, I’ve always been very interested in fashion as a form of expression. Fashion is an extension of your physical self, and the first thing you see when you walk into a room is what people are wearing.”
Nick Hutchison & Harper Lea
Portland Aerial Photography
Hutchison and Lea started their company, Portland Aerial Photography in January. They provide professional quality aerial photography for real estate profiles, gutter inspections, and other needs. Since starting their business, they’ve acquired ten clients and made roughly five hundred dollars in profit. “We both had a passion for photography, so we thought it’d be fun to make a business out of it,” said Nick Hutchison, co-founder.
Sumner Rahr
Oregon Youth Venture Fund
While taking an entrepreneurship class during his sophomore year, Sumner realized just how many of his peers had strong business ideas but lacked the funding to make those ideas a reality. So, he launched the Oregon Youth Venture Fund, which provides return-free investment to winning applicants. The two winning applicants for the General Entrepreneurship Award receive $2,000 each, and the winner of the Sustainability Award, which is focused on environmental impact, receives $4,000.

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