Generation Next

Stephen R. Gordon, 18

Stephen R. Gordon Web Site Design
Turning a fun hobby into a business is a dream of many. Doing it in junior high school? That's a success of a select few. Take Stephen R. Gordon of Fort Gratiot, Michigan, who started his Web site design business in 1997, at age 14. He already possessed a keen interest in computers and Web design when he decided to devote himself to learning all the ins and outs of technology during junior high.

Gordon's father, a medical illustrator, hooked him up with his first clients: doctors. "He'd been getting some inquiries about Web site design [from his own clients]," says Gordon. "It seemed like something I could do."

That level-headed approach has continued: Gordon has built his client list strictly via word-of-mouth, amassing about $40,000 in sales since starting his business. Last year, The National Association for the Self-Employed also named Gordon Future Entrepreneur of the Year, a title that included a $24,000 scholarship, which Gordon is putting to good use at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Gordon plans to continue the business throughout college but is not sure where it will go after that. The most rewarding part of his journey so far? "Just being able to say at my age that I've accomplished something that many people use and appreciate." -Nichole L. Torres

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This article was originally published in the May 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Generation Next.

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