Is it crazy to think your 10-year old could have an idea that could springboard into a money-making project? It is completely possible.
“The world is your oyster,” quoted Shakespeare in Merry Wives of Windsor. Young entrepreneurs are making big differences in their communities. I interviewed several children and I am in awe of their accomplishments. These children took their passion, developed a product, saw it through, and the results were amazing!
I often find it difficult to support my son’s plans because I’ve seen too many incomplete projects abandoned on the playroom floor. He’s 10 and I’ve found the best way to hold his interest is to have his financial buy-in.
Ask your young entrepreneur how much of their own money they’re willing to put in, and then help get them started by matching their investment or buying supplies.
Jelani, age 10, SheEO of Fredericksburg business Lani Boo Bath (laniboobath.com), says once she wanted to start a business, her parents purchased supplies and her mentor also donated supplies. The initial investment from her family was $1,000-$1,500, but after her first investment, the business paid for itself from sales. Now everything she needs is purchased from profits.
I asked Emma, age 11, about TREP$ (trepsed.com), the entrepreneurship program she participated in at her school that helps kids learn about marketing. It teaches kids in grades 4-8 how to start their own business in six to eight weeks. She and her classmate created fluffy key chains and their initial investment was $100. Even though they didn’t sustain the business, she says it was worth it because she earned about $160.
Not all young entrepreneurs start a business for profit, some use their talents to raise money for charity.
At 10, Josephine started a non-profit organization to raise money for orphanages called OMG: Orphanage Makeover Group. She raised $1,000 for two orphanages in the Philippines and $100 for orphanages in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew’s devastation. Josephine, now 14, works with like-minded students on a project called 2019 OMers Off Their Rockers (youtu.be/b7J-ShQJaSs).
At 9, Ryann made and designed magnets she sold for $3 each to raise funds for a girl in her community who was battling brain cancer. She raised $600 and a donation was made in the girl’s name to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. At age 14, she coordinated a fundraising concert at her town’s municipal center. That event raised $3,100 for a music therapy program at the local cancer treatment center in the name of a local musician who passed away from brain cancer.
Maura, Ryann’s mom, motivates me to not marginalize my son’s ideas. She says,“Parents don’t always give their kids enough credit when it comes to what they are capable of. It’s scary to watch your kids put themselves out there.
You have to be ready to pick them up it if doesn’t work out or sit back and watch them soar if it does.”
If your kid thinks they are ready to start a business, Jelani advises, “Gather your village for support, make sure you enjoy what you do, and never give up on your dreams!”