Maya Penn is a 12 year old small business owner who has been featured in Forbes, Black Enterprise, Ebony, Huffington Post, and many more! The pre-teen began her business when she started making ribbon headbands for friends and family. Soon after Maya created an online shop called Maya’s Ideas, where she sells eco-friendly, handcrafted, unique accessories and clothing made from recycled and organic materials.
With Maya’s mother teaching her how to sew at a young age and her father being an entrepreneur himself, the seed was planted in Maya early on, although no one thought she’d get her start at 12. Maya’s Ideas is not simply a lemonade stand type venture most 7th graders would go after, it is very profitable. Maya is on track to bring in about $55,000 in sales this year. And in addition to being a business owner and designer, she is also a philanthropist. She has vowed to give away 10% of her earnings to local charities, and has given an additional $4,000 as well as many hours as a volunteer. Maya says she loves giving to chairity because her parents always taught her to share what she has when you see someone who needs help.
Maya’s mother states that the business only receives her attention part time, as her studies are most important. By being homeschooled, Maya’s parents are able to customize her education to advance her problem solving skills and creating new business ideas.
Between owning a business, school, and just being a normal tween, Maya enjoys being able to inspire others and doing whatever she can to help those in need and our environment. I personally must say this ambitious 12 year old has truly motivated me to do something great!
photo cred: http://www.onebillionrising.org