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8 Ways Out-of-Work Teens Can Have Productive Summers

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Start a Small Business

Whether it's launching a dog-walking business or selling paintings on Etsy.com, entrepreneurial kids can make at least some money and build experiences they can use on future applications. Help kids identify a marketable product or need in the neighborhood and set a price for services. Then think of simple, inexpensive ways to advertise, like handing out flyers and posting signs in local stores. Attracting followers on Twitter or a Facebook fan page might make sense for some start-ups, but direct your teen to resources geared toward adults, too. "Kids will probably just find other teens on Facebook and Twitter," says Schwartz. "Push them to try new ways of networking—LinkedIn.com is more professional and reaches parents who are often the ?buyers? of services, such as tutoring. Or help them find their target market, such as a mother's group, for example." The U.S. Small Business Administration has more ideas at sba.gov/teens. Note: Every parent's comfort level with having kids work for strangers is different. But especially with younger teens, you may want to call or meet briefly with potential employers you don't know or have some connection to (friend of a friend, say). "A parent should always accompany a student to an interview for a job in someone's home," says Schwartz.

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