14 Books for Young Entrepreneurs
We know you’re super busy already. As a high-achieving, college-bound young entrepreneur, you’ve already got a LOT on your plate. You probably take several advanced-level classes, participate in at least one sport, volunteer your time, and have memberships in a handful of clubs. And then there’s your social life! Who has time for extra reading?
You do! Yes, YOU!
Whether you read for 5 minutes a day or an hour, we’re certain you can find the time. Read an e-book, a physical book, or listen to an audiobook. Check it out from the library or purchase it to keep. Read before bed. Read on the bus to school. Read during study breaks.
Whether looking to improve your entrepreneurial skills or life skills, we probably have a book you’ll enjoy. Some of these are new. Some are classics, and with good reason. Keep reading to keep reading!
1. HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE, by Dale Carnegie
We start this list with the most classic of classic books for entrepreneurs. It’s been around pretty much forever and was written by one of the most successful American entrepreneurs of all time. Read this book to give yourself a solid foundation in entrepreneurship.
2. THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE, by Stephen Covey
Another all-time classic, this book is a permanent fixture on every list of the best business books. Learn how to develop personal principles that will help you in both business and life. Then check out one of the many follow-up books, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by the author’s son, Sean Covey.
3. TEEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP, by Jack Rosenthal
For teens who are entrepreneurs. (That’s you.) This book is written by a teen entrepreneur, for teen entrepreneurs. It’s basically free advice from one of your highly successful peers!
4. STARTING A MICRO BUSINESS FOR TEENS, by Carol Topp
This one is the first in a series of four books for teens who are ready to successfully launch and run their own enterprise. In this section, you’ll learn what it takes to start a business from home and with very little money. From there, the series continues with, “Running a Micro Business,” “Money and Taxes in Micro Business,” and “Micro Business for Teens Workbook.” (Remember to let us know how it goes!)
5. 10 STEPS TO YOUR FIRST SMALL BUSINESS (FOR TEENS!), by Adam Lean
Forget technical jargon or complicated business terms. This book, written by an author who was a young entrepreneur himself, lays it all out in plain English and simple steps. And if you don’t have your big entrepreneurial idea yet, this book will help you get there.
6. DARE TO LAUNCH, by Anne Cocquyt
The author markets this book as a “mini-MBA.” The advice and tips here are designed especially for new entrepreneurs who’ve never run a company or started a business before. It includes advice on everything from taking that first step to making a profit.
7. PITCH ANYTHING, by Oren Klaff
If you need venture capital to help fund your startup or you’re participating in a young business leader challenge, you’ll need to master the art of the pitch. In this book, you’ll learn everything you need to know about successful pitches. From presentation to sealing the deal, you’ll find all the advice you need right here. Master those powers of persuasion!
8. THE BUSINESS PLAYBOOK, by Chris Ronzio
Here at the Kantner Foundation, we love helping young entrepreneurs become strong leaders. And this book is all about being the leader your enterprise needs. It’s focused on growing your business to the point where your team can work without you, but includes tons of good advice for creating a positive, proactive company culture.
9. TRUE NORTH, by Bill George and Zach Clayton
Speaking of leadership, here’s a book designed specifically for Gen Z as they make their way into the workforce. This book focuses on discovering your leadership style and cultivating it as an emerging leader of global business.
10. SCALE YOUR EVEREST, by Erik. Z. Severinghaus
Resilience is one of the most important “soft skills” you’ll need to develop as a young entrepreneur. This book was written by someone who made it to the top of Mount Everest, so he knows a thing or two about resilience! Here, he shares his own story and the ways it taught him about pushing through dark times, great challenges, and immense struggles.
11. THE LEAN STARTUP, by Eric Ries
The title of this book doesn’t refer to the size of your business. Rather, it’s a description of running a startup more efficiently. It helps entrepreneurs like you learn how to adapt and innovate so you and your business can be more agile and successful.
12. THE BUSINESS OF BELONGING, by David Spinks
Community is a part of every business, especially for teen entrepreneurs. This book explains the psychology behind how communities and businesses relate to each other. For teens just starting their entrepreneurial journey, this book is meant to help you learn how (and why) to build a community around your new small business.
13. BLINK, by Malcolm Gladwell
Entrepreneurs need to make good decisions, sometimes at a moment’s notice. But how do you know what the right decision should be? In this book, you’ll learn the science behind making the best decisions quickly so you can develop this crucial life skill.
14. ZERO TO ONE, by Peter Thiel
Progress and innovation. Two essential tools for any young entrepreneur. In this book, the author walks you through the importance of starting at zero to create something entirely new, rather than reinventing the wheel. And as a teen entrepreneur, you are particularly suited to creating trends, rather than following them.
Try not to think of these books as “assigned reading.” Instead, consider the words of wisdom from those who came before you and know what they’re talking about. Who knows what kind of advice you’ll take away from reading just one of these books?
Young entrepreneurs in Florida may be eligible for a Kantner Foundation college scholarship. Click here to learn about what we have to offer and how to apply.