Some of you may be wondering why even start the conversation about kid entrepreneurship with primary school-aged children. Doesn’t the common belief tell us that the focus of formative years is on building the academic knowledge? I shared that belief before my own children started school. Now, I am convinced that modern education should go hand-in-hand with practical learning, even better – drive academic learning.
Here are a few facts. The Australian research agency Mccrindle identified earlier commercial sophistication as one of the characteristics of generation alpha – today’s primary school children. Born between 2010 and 2025 and predicted to be the largest generation by the time they are all born, the kids of this generation are called ‘screenagers’ due to their early screen exposure – before they even learn to speak. Just think about this – the largest generation in the world’s history with high commercial aptitude!
Trends in kid entrepreneurship
The same research suggests that entrepreneurial outcomes will be the focus and the expectation of future education.
This trend is already being proved by another Mccrindle’s research which found that 86% of today’s students regard themselves as future entrepreneurs, either full time or part time. That is nearly 9 students in 10 planning to be running their own business in some degree!
While business education for kids is being recognised as a value-adding touch to some middle and high school curricula, most schools, particularly primary schools, do not yet meet this need for classes in kid entrepreneurship. And while it should not be considered as the final goal of education, kid entrepreneurship is a great opportunity not to be missed in engaging children in learning and creating motivation to pursue the knowledge beyond the classroom.
Benefits of learning kid entrepreneurship
By starting their own business kids can advance their academic knowledge independently, appreciate the hard work that goes into money making and learn essential life lessons, such as planning and prioritising, overcoming failures and being in control of the money (and not vice versa).
When I work as a casual relief teacher across Australian primary & secondary schools, one thing that consistently stands out for me is the level disengagement among children. The kids are simply not interested in doing inspirational writing every single day. The prompts that are given to them are not engaging, to say the least. So while they duly do the assignments, I can see there is no spark in their eyes.
Now imagine they need to create a landing page of their website or a product description about something that fascinates their minds, be it travel, or technology, or a social cause. And there is real competition they should keep an eye on! By how well they do their job depends on whether they attract any customers and earn any money. Now, that is a reason in itself to do well and explore how to spell correctly, how to structure a persuasion piece, how to use the verbs of action (and obviously, know the other parts of speech). The list of skills the kids need for this task goes on and on and extends into maths, in order to calculate profits, bundles and prices, as well as science, geography, etc. depending on the chosen area.
Thus, the main benefit of starting a business as a child is growing motivation by understanding why and how the wider knowledge will help them win the entrepreneurial game.
How parents can encourage entrepreneurial thinking in children
Let’s be honest: not all kids are entrepreneurial by nature, and that’s totally fine. Our goal as parents is to help discover kids’ natural talents and develop them further.
Here are a few ideas to see if kid entrepreneurship is a fit for your child and how to build it:
- Read about entrepreneurs and their journeys, which are often inspiring real life stories, such as the book Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike Corporation.
- Visit small business owners in your neighbourhood and talk to them about what it takes to run a business, which skills a successful entrepreneur must have and what challenges they face every day.
- Ask your child about pros and cons of being an entrepreneur vs an employee.
- Visualise how their life will look like when they run their own business. Try to avoid idealisation and remind about many failures successful entrepreneurs had to go through.
- Encourage your child think how they could have overcome those situations and which skills they already have or need to learn to achieve business success.
Not only you’ll connect with your child through such conversations, but you’ll give them a direction of thinking and further exploring the entrepreneurial world.
Business education for children
If you discover that the idea of running a business fascinates your child, then deep dive into business courses for kids, such as Miss M Online Classes which are specially designed for children 8+.
I developed these courses on kid entrepreneurship with my own children in mind using the best approaches that worked during my school teaching to make the lessons valuable and equip kids with tangible outcomes they can apply in real life straight away. Teaching being a secondary career, I generously share the gems of 17-years long marketing experience which included running my own business. Thus, kids don’t learn dry theory like in many other courses. Instead, they learn complex concepts through well illustrated examples that surround them and they can relate to.
In the online course “Young Entrepreneurs: How To Start A Business For Kids” kids learn key marketing concepts and how to discover and monetize their talents through a series of practice tasks.
If for any reason your child does not show an enterprising interest, the idea of learning critical thinking skills through analysing advertising, colour marketing, product labels and other marketing effects designed to encourage specific buying behaviours, may be something they are willing to explore. In this case, they will benefit from the course “Un-Marketing: Critical Thinking Skills & Own Buying Decisions” designed to educate children to think independently in the shopping environment.
There is no lack of business courses for kids these days. The key is to find those that are developed by professionals who have learnt their entrepreneurial art not by textbooks or courses, but through personal experiences, and can engage with children to grow their motivation to pursue self-learning. In other words, to set up the child for success and give them the motivation to succeed.
Final Thoughts About Kid Entrepreneurship
As a teacher, an entrepreneur, and a mother in the first place, I believe that raising motivated kids is more important than teaching school subjects. Similar to cooking, kids enjoy well-prepared food and may even ask for more when it is made to their taste. Contrary to that, they refuse or spit out the food they don’t like. This is why the knowledge, like food, should be well cooked in the way that grabs kids’ curiosity and prompts them to explore concepts on their own beyond school curriculum.
Looking for more resources about parenting and how to set your kids up for success? Check out this list of the Best Websites for Dads to Help Raise Better Kids. 57% of dads feel that parenting is a huge part of their identity–more than any time in history. The 5 websites in this list have tons of tools to help guide you through parenting: https://wilderdad.com/5-best-websites-for-dads/
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