The Skill Set: 7 Tips for Starting a Business in High School

This baking CEO knows all about the hustle.

If there’s one thing Jessica Cervantes can measure her success to, it’s balance. In 2006, at the age of 16, she created the first cupcake on an edible stick while still in high school—naming her budding baking business PopsyCakes, a recognition of its resemblance to ice cream popsicles. After winning first place in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) competition against 25,000 high school students across the country, she went on to college where she expertly managed the demands of schoolwork with hundreds of incoming orders. If that was not enough, after delivering PopsyCakes to the Miami Children’s Hospital for several months and being touched by the interactions she had with patients, she decided to attend medical school. Her on-call visits, endless class schedule and intensive exams would have to coincide with her
bustling side job.

“I don’t think you ever reach the top,” she says. “There’s always something else you can do. In medicine, there’s new medical literature that you need to get updated on. The same thing with baking—there’s always a new taste, new dessert or a new idea.”

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