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Babies in business: The children who made millions

Most people work their entire lives just to live a comfortable life in retirement, but that isn’t the case for us all. There are many rich, entitled kids in the world but only a select few have earned their millions and not been handed it on a plate. 

So, for this blog, we’re going to look at some of the most successful child entrepreneurs who are still dominating the business world today! 

Cameron Johnson

Aged just 9 years old, Virginian schoolboy, Cameron Johnson launched his own greeting cards business called “Cheers and Tears”. Just two years later, Johnson’s impressive designs had banked him tens of thousands of dollars in revenue which he invested in a new start-up, a pay-per-ad toolbar service called Raking in between $300,000- $400,000 a month, Johnson’s combined assets were valued at $1m- all before he’d even graduated high school! 

At the age of 19, Johnson sold his software and company name but kept the customer database he’d built up over the years. In the many years following, Johnson launched more than a dozen successful businesses and published a best-selling novel titled, ‘15-year-old CEO’. Today, he continues to invest in start-ups across a wide variety of industries and is a multi-millionaire. 

Catherine Cook

At 15 years old, Catherine Cook and her brother David, 17, had an idea. They developed the concept of creating an online version of a high school yearbook and secured a $250,000 investment from their older brother Geoff who has started his own successful business. And without any hesitation, was born. 

In just one year, the site had 950,000 members and had caught the attention of other established investors. The savvy siblings raised roughly $4.1m in investments for an expansion and have since signed lucrative contracts with the likes of CliffNotes, Disney, Neutrogena and ABC. Today, the site has 3 million members worldwide and is worth close to $100m.  

Nick D’Aloisio

At the age of 12, Nick D’Aloisio taught himself how to code. Five years later, he was a multi-millionaire. The tech-whizz teen started coding on the Apple App Store and created his first app, Summly, which automatically summarises news articles and other media. Just 17, he sold it to Yahoo for a staggering $30m. 

He went on to develop another app two years later named ‘Sphere’ and raised more than $30m in funding. After years of success, he decided to sell up and handed over his company and 20 employees to Twitter for an undisclosed amount- but we assume it was eye-wateringly large!

Fraser Doherty 

Fraser Doherty was 14 years old when he first started selling homemade jam to his neighbours in Edinburgh. Two years and a few tweaks to his grandmother’s original recipe later, it was in huge demand and earned its name, ‘SuperJam’. 

The business was booming and so Doherty dropped out of school to pursue it full-time. In 2007, he was approached by Waitrose who offered to sell his product in all 184 of their stores. Aged just 16, he was their youngest-ever supplier. Since then, SuperJam has gone on to sell millions of jars worldwide and has made millions in revenue. 

Doherty has since launched other successful businesses, published books and hosted over 500 conferences in 27 countries. He is a reputable public speaker and was even commended by HRH King Charles (then Prince)  for his investments in charitable projects. 

Ashley Qualls 

Detroit teen, Ashley Qualls, was just 14 years old when she started her website, Using her HTML skills, it provided free Myspace layouts for users and coding tutorials for people her age. 

The site was supported entirely by advertising revenue and in just the first few months, she made more than $70,000. Fast forward three years and Qualls was a millionaire. Despite several lucrative offers to acquire her company, she turned them down and went on to generate millions in ad revenue. 

To date, Ashley is now the editor-in-chief of Lucky Soul which funds charitable causes and has also founded the website SickNotDead, providing resources for the chronically ill. 

Julieth Brindak 

10-year-old Julieth Brindak loved drawing and started creating ‘cool girl’ characters in her space-time. Six years later, she started a social network for tweens and used graphic design and business to bring her characters to life. Miss O & Friends was a massive hit and was attracting hundreds of thousands of young girls to the site every month, earning her huge sums of revenue through advertising. 

Now, the site generates around 10 million unique views every single month and was voted the third largest girls-only website by Magazine in 2011. Today, Miss O & Friends is worth a massive $15m.

Incredibly, Brindak went on to launch her company, Moms with Girls and became the executive producer of a Youtube Premium original series called Hyperlinked, based on her life story. 

John Koon

Whilst studying in high school, John Koon launched an extreme performance motorsports company, importing car tuning accessories from Asia. At the age of 16, he started buying custom body kits and other accessories via wholesale accounts with Asian distributors and later became the main supplier for the iconic MTV show, Pimp My Ride. 

Already a millionaire, Koon decided to break into the fashion world, launching a clothing brand with rapper Young Yeezy called Young Jeezy 8732 Apparel Ltd. It quickly became one of the top-selling street brands in the United States, Koon alone pocketing an astronomical $40m. 

Now age 40, Koon has his fashion lines and focuses heavily on Asian couture. In total, it is believed he’s worth close to $80m.

This article is proof that age isn’t a barrier to success or being taken seriously. Business is about solving problems and these youngsters did just that. They took inspiration from their own lives, what they liked, and what they were good at and made money out of it. They didn’t let their age define their capabilities or simply cruise through their younger years, they saw an opportunity to kick-start their careers and MADE it happen. 

So the ultimate lesson from this is if children can get ahead in the business world, so can you. Matt was a hungry entrepreneur in his teens too although his greatest success at the time was only making a couple of hundred quid selling!Fast forward 25 years and he has provided funding of over 500m to UK businesses and traversed almost every business situation imaginable. 

So if you want to work with him, or need some advice on how to kick-start your business or grow an existing one, get in touch!



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