Jasmine Lawrence, 17
When she was just 11, Jasmine was on her way to becoming an
entrepreneur. After a chemical hair relaxer caused almost all of her
hair to fall out, Jasmine decided to make her own. She researched
natural hair-care products online but wasn't satisfied. She found that
most of them weren't all-natural products, so she put her allowance
together and made her own, using ingredients such as lavender oil. After participating in programs sponsored by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, which she says helped her to start "a real business" and gave her pro bono legal and financial help she launched Eden Body Works. In short order, she got a business license, a tax ID number, insurance, women's and minority business certificates, and a trademark on her company's name. After borrowing $2,000 from her parents, the high school junior launched her company (working before school and after finishing her homework).
A high school senior and honor student, Lawrence was nominated as "Black Enterprises" Teenpreneur of the year and her story has been featured on the "Today Show" and "Oprah." In between schoolwork and basketball, Lawrence negotiated deals with giant retailers Wal-Mart and Whole Foods, where Eden BodyWorks is now sold.