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How to help your child become an entrepreneur

Schools out and you might find your kids have a lot of extra time on their hands. Maybe you’ve even heard “I’m bored” a couple of times and it’s starting to drive you nuts.

Help your kids channel that boredom into some money-making by helping them become an entrepreneur. Not only will they earn some cash, but they will get to sharpen a variety of skills including problem-solving, creativity, professionalism, and more.

Jack Diehl, President of the Association for Entrepreneurship USA, gives insight into how to raise your child to become an entrepreneur, kid-friendly business ideas for different ages, and tips for helping your child market his or her ideas.

Encouraging your child to be an entrepreneur

With wild imaginations, kids are dreaming up all sorts of ideas regularly. As a parent, you can help support their ideas helping build their self-esteem and confidence.

“Although these dreams may sound outlandish, they should never be dismissed,” said Diehl. “Brainstorming with your child about being a business owner is a great way to bond and learning about business operations establishes a sense of financial literacy at a younger age.”

Here are some ways that Diehl said parents can step in to help their child without taking over the whole project.

  1. Be a mentor and positive role model.

Parents should always be mentors and positive role models for their children’s ideas. Rather than taking control of the idea, offer assistance and advice while your child navigates the process. This builds more self-confidence within your child as they go along. Remember that we learn the most from our failures, so it’s ok if your child falters along the way.

  1. Provide motivation and enthusiasm to your child’s ideas.

Let them know that they can come to you for questions or additional assistance such as purchasing supplies or driving around the neighborhood to deliver goods or marketing materials.

  1. Act as a guide for financial literacy and budget planning.

Teach them the math skills they need to calculate their cost/profit analysis.

Kid-friendly business ideas:

There are a variety of ways that kids can start their own small business without too much assistance. Here are some of Diehl’s suggestions:

Business ideas for younger children:

  • Lemonade stand. Kids can go shopping with their parents to buy ingredients and start a stand in their local neighborhood.
  • Sell sweet treats. If your child loves to bake, you can work with them to sell sweet treats to friends, family, or even local stores and online.
  • Create and sell crafts. Create jewelry and other crafts to sell online or in a local store.

Business ideas for middle/high school kids:

  • Dog walking/pet sitting. For dog lovers, your children can start a dog walking and pet sitting business
  • Landscaping. Older kids could start a lawn mowing service within the neighborhood if they enjoy spending time outside.
  • Tutoring. High school-age kids could offer tutoring services to younger students who are seeking help in various subjects.
  • Music lessons/performances. If your child is interested in music, they could reach out to local events and audition to perform or teach music lessons. They can start out at open mic nights and get the feel for performing in front of a crowd before they charge others money. This will help them understand the importance of investing time into your craft before monetizing it.

How children can market their ideas to start making money:

Once kids start earning money and realizing they can make a small profit from their services, they’ll feel a sense of reward and accomplishment. Here are some ways Diehl says they can market their business.

  • Word of mouth. Encourage your child to share their business/service with classmates at school, neighbors, or even at church.
  • Develop marketing materials. You can help your child create things such as flyers or informational sheets with their services and costs listed. They can print sheets out and pass them around at school or leave them at the doorsteps of houses.
  • Social media. If your child is of age, creating a social media account would be an efficient and modern way to market their ideas! They can start out by posting to business’ social media pages to get practice. Have the passwords to their social media accounts, so you can monitor their online activity and step in if needed.

Next time you’re having family dinner, ask your kids what their business ideas are. It’ll make for some fun conversation and might lead them on their way to becoming the next entrepreneur.

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