I continue to see stories of really young entrepreneurs, like this article on Business Fastlane, with kids as young as 9 years old who have successful businesses. This makes me wonder what sets that entrepreneurial drive in kids, and how early parents and schools should start teaching the basics.
There are already a couple of good books out there for youth entrepreneurs, such as a new one from my friends Adam and Matthew Toren, Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs with Big Ideas. They assert, "It's never too early! Even children can be introduced to basic business principles and the rewards of entrepreneurship". Another one is The Little Entrepreneur by Michael H. and Jay Arrington.
Even if you are not sure that your child is a budding entrepreneur, there are several practical reasons to introduce him or her to the basics of business. Here are a few facts from the National Council on Economic Education emphasizing the need for more business training, starting much earlier:
As early as grade school, with parental guidance and resources like these books, kids can gain some valuable experience in starting, managing, and growing a successful business venture. The positives include:
If your child is old enough to get on the Internet, he or she is old enough to start learning business skills. Sites like MySpace already allow teens to customize their home base with graphics, blogs, and music to make it more attractive to their peers -- that's marketing. It's not a big jump to e-commerce and the costs and decisions of running a business.
We all know that technology comes naturally and early to this generation. Gen-Y is already showing us new ways to use it to grow and profit in business. I can't even imagine what the next generation will bring. You better start your business now, and have fun while you can, before we all are branded as ancient relics.
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