Posted on: June 30, 2020 Posted by: moniolao Comments: 0
Being an entrepreneur may seem daunting. Being a teen one may seem even more so; but, not for 17-year old Lolita Rozenbaum creator of Kids Hack. Rozenbaum’s love for STEM combined with a notice of the lack of girls in her computer science classes inspired her business, which is “specifically for kids between 8-12 because they can get experience with it earlier, and it would help break the gender gap later on because I know a lot of girls are afraid to try computer science.” As a result, not only is Rozenbaum able to pursue her STEM-related passions through her business, but she is also tackling an issue that is prominent within this field.
However, having a great idea is only half the battle. Being willing to put this idea in place is the other. Rozenbaum surely knew this remarking “when I first started, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I just knew that I wanted to solve some sort of problem.” After attending a fun hackathon, Rozenbaum reasoned, “why not give kids a similar experience […] because you have to work hard and work together, so that is a fun experience and kids would love it.” By drawing from her own enjoyable experience and having the will to put it in place, Tozenbumwas able to build what is now: Kids Hack. Doesn’t sound too bad? Not exactly.

Challenges she has faced

Being a teen-entrepreneur comes with its challenges, and one of the most prominent is underestimation. This is an issue that Rozenbaum has had to face remarking, “as a teen-entrepreneur people do not think that you can do the things you’re doing because they think you are just a kid.” Nonetheless, Rozenbaum has not let these presumptions stop her; instead, she has proved them wrong: “I got in contact with a writer from Forbes and then she featured my business in an article so I was like I’m only 17 but I’m still able to do all of this.”
Apart from being underestimated, another obstacle a teen entrepreneur will have to face is the balance of school and business. Though Rozenbaum is the creator of a business, homework, projects, and much more are still very much on her plate. To manage this, Rozenbaum has made a plan: “I will have to set a limit for what I have to do because sometimes I get too involved in either thing. Sometimes I’ll start doing too much work in advance and I’ll be like ‘nope I have to work on something else.’” Goal setting is another thing that Rozenbaum uses stating, “I just set goals for myself each week like ‘oh I want to get in contact with this person and this person by the end of the week,’ and that’ll help me make sure I achieve that while also maintaining my school work and other extracurriculars.” Instead of feeling defeated by these challenges, Rozenbaum has chosen to use the benefits as a facilitator: “Not a lot of teens have LinkedIn. So, I message really important people in new {check} on LinkedIn and they will be like ‘oh you’re only 17 that’s awesome, I’d be happy to help.”And, of course, this has come with some sacrifice of sleep.

How COVID-19 has affected Rozenbaum’s Business

In the past, Rozenbaum’s business has encompassed in-person hackathons with 3 to 5 kids in each room. However, with the rise of COVID-19, she has had to make some necessary changes. Currently, Kids Who Hack offers an email subscription service called a mini hack in which video instruction on how to create and code a new game is available each week for four weeks. Rozenbaum has also kept in mind the parents who struggle with finding activities for their kids to do: “I’ve made it friendlier since everyone has been at home with their parents […] it’s is a fun and educational experience.” Through her business, Rozenbaum has provided an activity for kids to do during their boredom: “They make their own game each week. It’s like 20 minutes out of your week; they make a game, and they can make it themselves.” This has proved to be an effective way to help many, young and old, through this pandemic.

The Future

What about the future? Rozenbaum believes that the future of business likely lies online, and “even when the whole pandemic ends, it’s still going to mainly be online because of the new technology and how everything is growing towards everything being completely on the internet.” This possible online future will lend itself well to Rozenbaum’s passions as “one of the main reasons [she likes] coding so much is because [she] believes that it is the future.” In terms of her career, RozenbaFroum would like to attend college. Yet Rozenbaum is determined to continue her business: “I already have completely created program for four weeks, and if I just make a few more four-week programs then I can just continue it for as long as possible.” This self-sufficient nature of Rozenbaum’s business will make it possible for her to continue her company for many years to come: “As long as I have something self-sufficient that I don’t really need to maintain that often then it’s going to work by itself so I would definitely like to pursue it.”

Rozenbaum’s Advice

Rozenbaum’s main advice, for those who aspire to do a very similar thing to what she has and continues to do, is to not let others underestimate you:“people will say how you have so much going on or you don’t have enough time to devote to your business, or you’re too young.” Rozenbaum also wants to make known the very real positive benefits of starting a business at a young age: “It’s so much better to start a business [when young] because you know when you’re doing something failure is the first step to success. So, if you start younger and you fail then you’re just making sure you’re success is earlier.”
Finally, as a message to all, Rozenbaum states that teens are not purely “hormonal and annoying, but sometimes they can actually do something impactful.”

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