Thousands of primary school children will come together over the next few weeks to participate in a program that aims to encourage entrepreneurial thinking in children.
Launched in 2010, Club Kidpreneur aims to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship in children aged 8 to 12. The students donate the money they have raised through their business to charities of their choice.
According to general manager Deanna Coleman, the foundation wants to foster courage and resilience in the children, promote the concept of being a global citizen and encourage them to appreciate the value in giving back.
“We have partnered with 500 schools in Australia and New Zealand and have the capacity to reach some 10,000 children this year,” she says.
Students follow a 12 step program called ‘Ready, Set, Go’ where they begin by presenting ideas about the type of business they want to run. This includes selling key-rings, greeting cards, dreamcatchers, making cakes, building a lemonade stand and even offering free parenting advice. Their business goal is to raise money for a worthy cause.
Questions about marketing strategy such as where to sell their product and how to do so involve a little bit of research before the design syncing and product development phase begins. They also become financially literate as they learn about pricing strategy and have mentors on hand to guide their business and integrate it with the community.
It culminates in taking their product to the market and selling it in the space of a day. The startup costs of this enterprise are paid back with the money the students raise, making it cost-neutral.
Coleman says that the National Young Leaders Day is an opportunity to partner with more schools as the event attracts principals and school teachers to sign up with the foundation. They are scheduled to attend the conference in Perth (March 6), Melbourne (March 13), Brisbane (March 20) and Sydney (March 23).
“This is our third year partnering with them. They are an amazing organisation and during the event school leaders conduct presentations and hold motivational talks. Our own alumni will be talking about their business and what they have learnt,” she says.
The foundation will be travelling to Japan and conducting a pilot project in Malawi and India. In addition, it is carrying out a research project called ‘Teenpreneur’ to promote entrepreneurship in teenagers and hopes to launch it next year.
They are also looking to host a National Kidpreneur Day next year and are looking to trial it later this year in Sydney and Melbourne. One of the likely events to be held during that day is the ‘Great Aussie Toy Swap’, where a trading floor is setup and students learn about trading and local businesses.