Taking Care of Business: kids and business ideas

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Do your children want things you don’t have the money for or have they asked you how they can generate income for something they want? It can be difficult to come up with ideas and have the know-how to help them do this. Maybe you have a child who has great ideas that you think could actually work. I have discovered some organizations and websites that can help.

Does your child have a great imagination and is always thinking of ways to improve something? Does s/he want to take apart things to see how they work? Plug them into networks for young inventors. There are many  organizations students can join to get hands-on experience in being an inventor and entrepreneur, including Odyssey of the Mind and First Robotics. Plus, organizations like Girl ScoutsBoy Scouts and 4H also develop a lot of these leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

And, there are tons of competitions they can enter that will give them a good starting point. Intel and Google each have a science competition. By Kids for Kids is basically a clearinghouse for all kinds of competitions sponsored by companies — not just math and science competitions, but in all different types of categories including arts and athletics. Even if they don’t go on to become an entrepreneur or kid millionaire, it will build valuable life and business skills. Plus, there’s usually a cash prize involved, which gives a nice boost to their piggy bank to help fund their invention, pay for college or help them get a jump-start on saving.

The Secret Millionaires Club is also a part of the By Kids for Kids website that is a cartoon, but has great episodes for young entrepreneurs. The ones I watched were on starting a lemonade stand business and having a business plan.

Perhaps you feel that their interests in this area seem like a distraction to your school day. If you see this as an opportunity for practical applications for  math and science, you can allow this to be a benefit and enrich your curriculum.  Remember, you are exploring and finding the areas of strength and interest that your child has been given. Textbooks are terrific, but look beyond that to see the possibilities of what you child can do. Who knows but that your child has an idea that could revolutionize our world?:)

~Lisa

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