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Miss America’s Teen shares tips for young entrepreneurs

RALEIGH, NC – The pandemic has inspired a record number of people to start small businesses, but the steps to get an idea off the ground can be the hardest part.

The 2024 Miss America’s Teen, North Carolina native Hanley House started her own small business when she was 12, creating custom designs for T-shirts, pajamas and more using a vinyl cutting machine.


What you need to know

  • National Small Business Week is from April 28 to May 4
  • It is a time to celebrate and recognize entrepreneurs and small business owners in the US
  • 2024 Miss America’s Teen and former Miss North Carolina Teen, Hanley House, focuses on entrepreneurship in her community service initiative Passion to Profit
  • She shares her five steps to help young people start their own businesses

“When I was around, you know, ten years old, I auditioned and was accepted into some of the most respected ballet schools in the country,” House said. “So, of course, like any extracurricular activity, it was a bit expensive. And so, if I wanted a way to pursue my dreams, I was going to have to help pay for it.”

House, now 16, credits the experience with gaining practical skills that she now uses to help others through her community service initiative Passion to Profit.

“I guide students with my five steps to becoming a successful entrepreneur nationally. These five steps include finding your passion, marketing your passion, learning the true meaning of profit, reinvesting in the community and finally taking action,” said House.

This year, National Small Business Week runs from April 28 to May 4.

Outside of business, House is inspiring in winning the national title when she became Miss North Carolina’s Teen just six months before being new to the pageant world.

“It was great to have this experience. I’ve been able to continue to develop my skills in the real world, like interviewing skills and, you know, learning all about the Miss America opportunity,” House said. “I earned $80,000 in scholarships through the Miss America opportunity, and I am so grateful for that. And so I can’t wait to continue building relationships as Miss America’s Teen.”

Hanley says she hopes to continue her entrepreneurial journey, own her own business and one day become an interior designer.

She is dually enrolled as a junior at Cleveland High School in Johnston County and is taking college courses through Wake Technical Community College.