Young employees want face to face interaction, flexibility, transparency, and to feel like they are making a positive difference in the world—including working toward bettering the planet. So how can our eco-conscious teens save the planet and make money in the process? Well, 11 year old Ned Heaton has it all figured out, and has just taken out the 2019 Change-maker Of The Year award for his green company The Turtle Tribe.

Young entrepreneur Ned Heaton is only 11 years old and is already half way through a year-long youth entrepreneur business program. Ned founded “The Turtle Tribe”, and has just been announced as a 2019 winner in the International BE THE CHANGE Awards, named as The Change-Maker Of The Year!

He was recognised for his ambitious plan to ban plastic toothbrushes and help reduce ocean pollution. Ned, was sick of seeing plastic washed up on his holiday beach, including toothbrushes. He decided to start his own eco-business, selling biodegradable toothbrushes. Spreading the word about plastic toothbrushes being a massive contributor to the world plastic problem, Ned offers the toothbrushes for free on his website (simply pay postage)

“I give away a free toothbrush to every customer to help the planet and then extra toothbrush sales keep me in business,” he said.

Neds parents advised him that being able to run a business would give him more opportunities to have a positive impact in the world and be in control of his own destiny.

He says that the best thing about owning a business is that he gets to meet cool people and make a difference in the world. Eventually, he hopes it’ll bring some financial rewards too, but that’s not his focus at the moment.

Neds advice to teenagers who are starting up their own business is to have mentors. He suggests finding something you’re passionate about and that helps people or the planet, so you’re part of the solution, not the problem. Learn from others. Share your story. Build a network. Learn how to use marketing, especially online marketing. Business is easier for kids because everyone is happy to help and support you. Go for it!
@Ned Heaton