Young Americans Blog

10 Ideas for Starting a Business Over the Thanksgiving Break

By: Katie Payer Published: November 7th, 2013

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, and with that holiday comes at least four full days of time off from school.  Sure there’s still homework to think about, and the “challenge” of eating all that food.  But how do students spend the rest of that time?

Here’s a thought: encourage anyone ages 6 to 21 to come up with a simple business, create a few products or do a bit of service, and then apply to participate in the Young Entrepreneurs Marketplace.  You’ll make some cash just in time for the holidays!

Fall is the perfect time to start a yard business -- with leaf raking.

Fall is the perfect time to start a yard business — with leaf raking.

Business ideas

Here are a few ideas to pass along to any kids looking to make a few extra dollars this holiday season:

  1. Computer Tutor – Kids always know the latest sites, tricks, tools — and how to fix these things when they break.  Spending a few hours learning some basic fix-it tricks can go a long way helping others get their technology in order (for some cash, of course).
  2. Errand Runner – Forgot the cranberry sauce? Need to pick up a loaf of French bread for the Thanksgiving dinner?  Think the table needs a bouquet of flowers before the family comes over?  Send a young entrepreneur down the street to the grocery store or florist — and pay them for their time.
  3. Moving Assistant – The end of the month is always a busy time for people moving in and out of apartments and condos.  No one likes to do all those trips up and down stairs alone.  A young entrepreneur can carry lots of loads, even if it’s the light stuff like towels, pantry items, a lamp, pet items, etc.
  4. Garage or Basement Clean-Up – Out with the old, in with the new (holiday gifts).  Young business owners can help customers for a few hours to get rid of old items, sweep a crawl space, and more.
  5. Leaf Raking – There are plenty of people around the neighborhood who would pay really well to have their yard cleaned up by a young entrepreneur.  Bonus: they can jump in the leaf piles as many times as they’d like (as long as things are cleaned up in the end).
  6. Gift Wrapping Services – Fancy paper? Check.  Tape?  Check.  Colorful ribbons?  Check.  With just a small upfront purchase of supplies, young business owners can create a whole assembly line for wrapping neighborhood gifts.  Just be sure to keep track of which gifts belong to which neighbor!
  7. Pet Sitting – Plenty of people go out of town for the holidays.  This is the perfect opportunity to learn more responsibility and earn some spending money.
  8. Greeting Cards – This is big business during the holiday season, and personalized, hand-made cards are incredibly popular.  Use photos from trips, drawing of the backyard, stamps, or any other creative design.  Blank cards are available at any craft store.
  9. Design Holiday Ornaments – Take items from the backyard or a nature walk, or create designs out of craft store clay.  Personalized ornaments can be sold for even more money.
  10. Scale up what you love – Whether it’s painting, playing video games, baking, or anything else, take that product or service and turn it into something that makes money.  Create more paintings to sell, create a class for younger students on secrets behind your favorite video games, or sell your favorite baked good to your neighbors by the dozen.  You can earn money by doing the thing you love!

What are you favorite youth entrepreneur ideas?  Share them below!

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