Posts Tagged ‘children and entrepreneurhip’

The Pursuit of Happiness and Entrepreneurship

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

On this day, it’s worth remembering that our Declaration of Independence states that we are endowed with “certain unalienable rights” and that among these are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

While in high school, my daughter Gina was a national finalist in the Junior Achievement Young Entrepreneurs competition and was eligible to enter their speech contest. The topic contestants were given was: “The Quest for Success.”

Gina came to me to brainstorm. Given my background as an English instructor, I suggested she look up “quest” and “success” in the dictionary. She found that a synonym for quest was pursuit and that one for success was happiness. “The pursuit of happiness?” we said to one another, recalling the phrase from the Declaration of Independence. She went on to write a speech stating that the “pursuit of happiness,” guaranteed to us in the Declaration of Independence, also meant the right to strike out on one’s own and become an entrepreneur.

I’m happy to report that Gina won the speech contest! The cash prize helped pay for her first year of college. Pursuing entrepreneurship as a high school student set her on her path toward success.

In launching a business, entrepreneurs fulfill their right to strive for success and pursue happiness on their own terms. Entrepreneurship, in fact, is a declaration of independence.

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

As the owner and founder of TeaCHildMath and small business entrepreneur,  I am frequently asked how to teach children entrepreneurship.

My recommendation is to have your child actually run a business such as a lemonade stand.  Have your child compute the cost of the lemons, the sugar, the cups and other incidentals.

At the end of the day, have your child count up the sales and figure out the net profit.  Your child is solving some real math problems in a real context, not only addition and subtraction but multiplication and division.  What was the net profit at the end of the day if 15 cups of lemonade at 50 cents each were sold and the cost was 5 cents per cup?  Math in a real context is powerful.  Your child is holding a fistful of dollars and a cup full of change.  He/she is very interested in how much money he/she made and how to increase profits next time.

Discuss what factors increase sales such as selling on a summer day, cost of products, lemonade stand location and developing salesmanship skills by engaging with customers.  What of advertising with a bigger sign and maybe one posted on the corner?  Discuss whether diversifying the product line by selling chocoate chip cookies would increase sales.  One lemonade-stand entrepreneur in my neighborhood found, not surprisingly, it was cheaper to buy chocolate chip cookies at Costco and reselling them.

A dollar your child earns is worth so much more than the dollar you give him. Think also of your child’s pride and satisfaction in running his or her business.  Why not teach your child to be resourceful at an early age?  Why not develop these entrepreneurial skills?

Entrepreneurship is developing an idea, product or service and selling it.  Start with a lemonade stand; the lessons learned here are Basic Entrepreneurship 101.