Four teens launched their careers with Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn: bagels, General Paper tutoring, and songwriting

Two sisters started selling home-baked bagels through Instagram, a gap-year student founded a tuition center that now has a 75-student waitlist, and a singer got her first record deal by spamming people on LinkedIn – these young women used social media to live their dreams, all before turning 20 years old.

Four teen entrepreneurs, one as young as 14, were motivated to work harder and reach further by the words from doubtful older adults: “You’re too young.”.

The two home bakers, one who started a business to pass on exam tips to her peers, and the other who launched a music career did it all through social media, sidestepping doubters.

Kay and Kat Cheng started baking when they found themselves stranded at home during the pandemic in July 2021.

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the Singapore-based sisters were unable to visit their birthplace, so they craved Taiwanese bagels, which were trending there at the time.

Trying to bake their own matcha bagels turned out to be a huge mess. “They didn’t even look like bagels,” laughed Kat, the younger.

“People were intrigued because they hadn’t seen matcha-flavoured bagels in Singapore, so we continued baking,” Kay said. They posted photos on their Instagram food account, which had 100 followers.

Initially, the Cheng sisters baked only for family and friends. But Instagram followers started asking for orders, so in September 2021, they sold their bagels for S$40 (for eight).

Their interest in the bagels continued, and they started a home-based bagel business, Jiababa, and converted their Instagram food account to @jiababa88 two months later.

We didn’t know how to arrange for delivery or standardize a collection time and place, so we would deliver bagels at MRT stations throughout Singapore.


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