Why so much youth entrepreneurship in the U.S.?

Here is my latest column, featuring wunderkind Ben Casnocha; it has been titled "The Loose Reins on U.S. Teenagers Can Produce Trouble or Entrepreneurs."  Here is an excerpt:

The longstanding criticism of the American school system is that even
in the better schools, too many students just “get by” rather than
engage in a rigorous curriculum.  This academic leniency is bad for many
average or subpar students, but it also allows some students to
flourish.  Relatively loose family structures have similar effects;
American children are especially likely to be working on their own
projects, rather than being directed by parents and elders.

American philanthropy is also a significant and unheralded factor behind American youth entrepreneurship; many young entrepreneurs used elders as mentors or asked them for financial assistance.  Furthermore "selling to the young" is much derided by critics such as Juliet Schor or Benjamin Barber, but it has its benefits.  Sometimes advertising inspires the young to start marketing themselves, as did Ben Casnocha.

You can read more about Ben, who started his successful company at age 14 (he is now 19), in the article.  Here is Ben’s blog.  Here is the web site for Ben’s new book.  Ben will soon be attending Claremont McKenna college, I am curious to see whether or not it drives him crazy.


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