ROANOKE, Va. – Making history at seven years old, Judah Clements is the youngest entrepreneur to ever be accepted into the Gauntlet program.
Selling lemonade under his nickname Judah Bug, he is ready to bottle his product and start selling online.
Looking for some help, Judah and his family, turned to The Gauntlet.
Shannon Dominguez, director of business development, said they “are thrilled to have him join the tribe!”
The largest business competition and program in the state that helps connect business owners.
“He likes to chat with them,” Philip Clements, Judah’s father, said. “Ask them how they are doing. Hear their ideas.”
After sitting in various zoom calls with bottle manufactures and a graphic artist over the summer, Judah feels worn out.
“I found out that it takes a lot of work,” Judah said.
But his goal is “to help dogs and cats and make a little money.”
Already giving more than a thousand dollars to Angels of Assisi, Judah’s dad admires his son’s hustle.
“We underestimate the potential of a young person and what they are capable of creating,” Philip said.
Philip said society needs to give more young people the chance to start their own businesses.
“It just allows them to pour out their creativity, to pour out their innovation,” he said.
Dominguez agrees as she say, “the minds of our youth are our future.”
“We want to support and foster their ideas by providing them with the tools, resources, and support they need to witness the creations of their imagination come to life,” she said.
Hiring their first employee this year, Judah plans to hit the ground running this month by advertising his business in several local events.
Judah shares his business model with other kids with the hope to see their ideas take off too.
“It’s going to inspire them to do a business,” Judah said.
A concept the founder of the Gauntlet Annette Patterson admires.
“The truth is that the entrepreneurial mindset is the most important skill for the future of work,” she said. “Entrepreneurial mindset includes recognition of opportunity, critical problem-solving and communication. Whether Judah works for himself or for someone else in the future these will be the skills that separate good from great!”