In 2010, a 14-year-old Robert Nay founded Nay Games, a company that had built a mobile game called Bubble Ball for Apple iOS platform. In the second week of its release, the app had received over 1 million downloads. He learned to code on his own by reading books at the library. He wrote about 4000 lines of code to build his app.
Alina Morse, the founder of Zollipops, which is a company that specializes in healthy candy, established the business at the age of 9. She recognized the love children have for candy and the need to provide sugar-free candy, which is healthy and adds dietary value.
These are just a few examples of children who are brave enough to make entrepreneurship a dream come true. Encouraging children to show interest in entrepreneurship is not only teaching them about money, but it is also about teaching them other skills as well. In the examples mentioned above, we see children who are good at problem-solving and using available resources to get ahead in life. Alina Morse identified the problem and came up with a solution while Robert Nay displayed dedication in learning a new skill. How do you then encourage your children to have an interest in entrepreneurship?
#1 Become a mentor or find one for your children
Children learn by example, in most cases and getting them involved in a real business will help them have the enthusiasm to learn the trait. If you run your own business, simply by getting children to help out now and then, sets them in the right direction. If you don’t run your own business, asking someone you know and trust to mentor your children is good enough. Also, older kids are eligible to get minor jobs, therefore, encouraging them to take up such opportunities is vital.
#2 Let them be in charge
Whether the business is selling baked goods or lemonade or pet sitting, whatever it is, children need to be left to do decision-making. Parents’ involvement should be about offering and mentoring. The daily running of the business should be left to the children, aka business owners. The idea is to help them learn through the process.
#3 Teach them about failure
My little brother was a ‘small scale’ dove farmer. One day when we came back home, someone had broken in our yard and stole all the doves. He had about 20. We were all heartbroken, but he was worse, and after that, he quit his farming business. Nobody taught him about failure in running a business and how to handle it.
Children need to be taught that failure is part of a business and should not be discouraged to give up when things don’t go as planned. This is instilling resilience and perseverance in life. Being able to persevere helps one face and overcome challenges.
#4 Fun should be part of it
Learning is not helpful if it is shoved down someone’s throat with pressure and authority. Children should be having fun while learning entrepreneurship and other life skills. Not every day will be sunshine as challenges will definitely arise. But it doesn’t mean they have to be miserable through the whole process. Their bubbly and happy personalities still need to shine throughout the process.
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Note: The opinions expressed in this article are personal views of the author.