Unlike most teenagers Jaylen D. Bledsoe didn’t spend his entire summer vacation sleeping late, visiting amusement parks or hanging around the pool with friends. Instead he was at MegaFest, a festival founded by the T.D. Jakes Ministries, speaking on the topic of technology and innovation. The 17-year-old Missourian is a nationally recognized teen entrepreneur, and business development consultant. His company, The Jaylen Bledsoe Global Group includes celebrity clientele like Jordin Sparks and Steve Harvey.
Bledsoe started his information technology consulting business at the age of 12. With only $100, he began marketing his tech services and within two years, he had 150 contractors working for him and a company valued at $3.5 million. Bledsoe’s mentor, chain grocery store CEO, Scott Schnuck, gave him invaluable advice: ‘Take risks, there’s nothing that you can do as a minor that will shoot you down for too long. Because you are young, you can come back up and keep going.”
“I see greater meaning in knowing that I’ve motivated someone with my story, inspired someone with my words, or impacted someone with my business rather than just enjoying the check that’s offered,” he told The Huffington Post. “I’ve come to the understanding in my life as I travel the country speaking to youth, hoping to change lives, that the word ‘net-worth’ doesn’t have to apply simply be the equation of, ‘your assets minus your liabilities’.”
In 2015, Bledsoe’s passion for inspiring and educating other teens prompted him to create The Young Entrepreneur University – a set of interactive digital programs and camps designed to educate minority students on entrepreneurship. He is planning to take this program to over 10 cities in 2016.
“Dream & Think Big. Control Your Future. Own Self Validation. Don’t Seek Validation.”