Continuing on with my Amazing Human series is a post inspired by Ted speaker Maya Penn, a cartoonist, designer, entrepreneur and activist. Maya says she is part of a new wave of entrepreneurs who not only seeks a successful businesses, but also wants to do her bit in building a sustainable future. Did I mention Maya was only eight years old when she launched her business?
Meet Maya Penn
Maya Penn is the girl I wish I was at thirteen. She’s confident, creativity bursting with talent and has a good social conscious. Maya’s motivated by art and the environment and incorporates this it into everything she does such as her business Maya’s Ideas and her nonprofit Maya’s Ideas for The Planet that she launched when she was eight. Yes eight years old!
Maya’s Idea is a fashion label of handmade clothing. Maya didn’t have a business plan at eight years old, she learnt all about running a business as she went along, but she was certain on two things.
1. Maya’s ideas must be eco-friendly
Maya is an activist for the environment. She tells us that clothes dyes are pretty harmful to both people and the environment. Even after the dyeing process has been completed the waste materials that are dumped can pollute the air making it toxic to breathe. Maya’s clothing range is only made from eco-friendly material.
2. Maya’s ideas must donate a percentage of profits
Another thing that Maya was certain about was that 10-20% of her business profits needed to be donated to local and global charities and environmental organisations. So often new business and entrepreneurs wait until they are generating a certain amount of income before they engage in philanthropy. I think that Maya has the right idea. Start giving from day one.
Maya is obviously a pretty remarkable teenager but a giant kudos really need to go out to her parents, who obviously would have been instrumental to the launch of Maya’s Ideas. The one thing that really stood out to me about Maya was that this is a kid with a huge thirst for knowledge and curiosity. Maya says when she was four her dad taught her how to pull apart and reassemble a computer. This sparked a love for technology. Her parents have really supported her and helped her to nurture and grow that entrepreneurial spirit and taught her from an early age about the importance of giving back.
Maya Penn inspires me
Maya truly inspired me. She started her business quite young and is involved in quite a few philanthropy and creative projects. She is not only a success entrepreneur but has found a way to use her business as a way to promote positive social change teaching us that age is no barrier for making a difference.
I think as adults quite a few of us have that essence of Maya in us – wanting to take on the world, pursue our passions and make a difference. Sadly, sometimes the limiting beliefs of adulthood can douse that spark within us. I think that we owe it to ourselves to reconnect with that person within us and take the lead from Maya. This girl is going to change the world.