It should go without saying that we should always encourage kids with an entrepreneurial streak. You never know, they might end up being the next Steve Jobs one day! Of course, the world is full of many haters, and when 13-year-old Jaequan Faulkner decided to start his own hot dog business, those haters thought they could shut him down. They were wrong.
- Jaequan Faulkner wanted to make his own money. The Minneapolis teen didn’t want to have to rely on his parents to hand over allowance money. Instead, he decided he would set up his own business outside his home so he could earn his own money and learn what it took to run a business. Pretty impressive for only 13.
- Local police officers thought his tenacity and innovation deserved applause. Cops involved in the Bike Cops For Kids program decided Jaequan deserved applause for his hard work, so they gave him a shout-out on social media, and people began flocking to his stand to get their own hot dogs.
- Of course, not everyone was happy for him. Because we can’t have anything nice, some curmudgeon decided to lodge a complaint with the police about Jaequan Faulkner’s hot dog stand. They weren’t complaining about the noise or increased foot traffic. Instead, a grown adult was accusing a child of operating a business without a permit and insisting the stand should be shut down.
- Thankfully, the haters didn’t win. While the police very well could have shut down Jaequan’s stand, they didn’t. Mr. Faulkner’s Old Fashioned Hot Dogs needed to continue operating. Luckily, Minneapolis Environmental Health Director Dan Huff knew exactly what to do.
- Authorities helped Jaequan get the permit he needed. Huff said that shutting the stand down would have been the wrong decision. Instead, he wanted to help the business flourish and use it as a learning experience. So, they helped the boy out. “We can help him get the permit. Let’s turn this situation around and help him become a legitimate business owner,” Huff explained to KARE 11.
- They even funded Jaequan’s business permit! The 10-day permit cost $87, and officers came together to fund the entire thing. But they didn’t stop there. They also made sure he had a tent to protect him from the sun, some meat thermometers, and a handwashing station for proper hygiene.
- Other organizations saw Jaequan’s potential, too. The Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) is dedicated to helping “underserved entrepreneurs.” They decided to mentor Jaequan on important business matters like pricing, marketing, and costs. They also set him up with different locations for his stand after the first 10-day permit expired.
- Jaequan really loves serving food to people. When asked what made him start the business and why he loves running it, his answer was priceless. “It’s the cooking and the people,” he explained. “When I see someone passing by with a frown, and I can turn that into a smile just by selling them a hot dog, that’s my reward.” I love this kid!