Beats Bussing Tables

(FORTUNE Small Business) – Caroline Gray, 13 Serial entrepreneur Wellesley, Mass.

I STARTED MY FIRST BUSINESS when I was just 10. My parents don't believe in allowances, and my sister had already locked up all the good babysitting jobs in the neighborhood. I needed money, so I decided to set up a car wash. I made a sandwich-board sign and walked around the neighborhood for an hour. When I got home, there were six cars lined up outside my house. I had to hire some of my friends to help. That presented my first management challenge: Nobody wanted to vacuum under the kids' car seats. But I made good money—about $150.

My most successful business was making stress balls that kids could squeeze. We were entering a testing period at school, and everyone was stressed out. I made my own stress balls out of colored balloons filled with flour, and sold them for $1 apiece. I sold 90 in two days.

Now all of my friends want to start their own businesses too, because it is so much cooler than bagging groceries or cleaning tables at a restaurant. Plus, you make lots more money! Last summer, among all my businesses, I made about $800. Being an entrepreneur is a perfect equation: Fun plus money plus happy customers equals a great job.

SCHOOL'S IN Number of American colleges and universities with entrepreneurship departments

2000 7

2005 19

SOURCE: Kauffman Foundation (kauffman.org)

Number of students ages 13 to 18 who participated in entrepreneurship programs from the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship

1995: 2,600

2006: 15,970

70.9%

Percentage of kids ages 13 to 18 who would like to be entrepreneurs (2006)

SOURCE: Junior Achievement (ja.org)

As Told to Patricia B. Gray (Caroline's Mother) contributed to this article.

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.