Recently my family played a board game invented by 10-year-olds. It got me thinking about how to teach kids to be entrepreneurs and what entrepreneur books I could share with my children. Then my daughter announced, “I want to be an entrepreneur,” adding, “because you have a good schedule.”
Maybe being a role model is helpful — my husband and I are entrepreneurs –with flexible work hours. 🙂 But what else supports children in their efforts to learn about business?
Schools with Entrepreneurial Programs
Beyond sharing about our own jobs, how we market and grow, I wondered what else can my husband and I do to encourage our kids to think about having their own businesses?
In some cases, parents can enroll children in schools that are teaching an entrepreneurial mindset like my daughter’s middle school, Aspen Academy here in Denver or WeWork in New York. This article on Inc Magazine lists nine more school organizations which includes NFTE, The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, that support young entrepreneurs.
Help Kids to Start a Business
Encourage your kids to start with a lemonade stand. You’ve probably heard of Lemonade Day. If you haven’t, it’s a program for kids and teens to start a lemonade stand where some or all of the profits are donated to charity. Through this, kids learn business skills, responsibility, financial literacy, goal setting, and teamwork. Go to The Lemonade Day website for a free starter kit.
Kids as young as age five can start learning about business with this Pizza Store simulation from Osmo. It’s hands-on, integrates with technology, and teaches math and entrepreneur skills. Doesn’t it look fun?
Shopify offers a logo maker, guides, videos, and resources for kids ready to start a business.
Help your kids think of products to sell or a service they can offer. Then, help them implement. Consider the classic always needed lawn mowing, snow removal, office help, or babysitting businesses. Or think about your children’s passions. What do they like to create or do? My artsy daughter once spent an afternoon by the community pool selling her artwork and donated the profits to The Salvation Army. Not a full-blown business per say, but a pop-up stand and good experience.
Check out this list of 50 small business ideas for kids.
Don’t miss these books — they’re great resources for you and your kids!
Kidpreneurs: Young Entrepreneurs With Big Ideas!The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business: Turn Your Ideas into Money!Be a Young Entrepreneur: Be Inspired to Be a Business WhizThe Making Of A Young Entrepreneur: A Kid’s Guide To Developing The Mind-Set For SuccessFinancial Peace Junior Kit: Teaching Kids How to Win With Money
Entrepreneur Books for Kids
I love the following picture books and middle grade books for encouraging entrepreneur kids. They’ll introduce people or characters who start their own businesses. And, in most cases, the businesses actually succeed. (With plenty of failure and lessons along the way.)
Hopefully, these entrepreneur books will teach and inspire your children.
Cooler Than Lemonade by Harshita Jerath, illustrated by Chlose Burgett
This story reminds me of why I love being an entrepreneur — because it pushes you creatively and is so much fun to think of better ways to serve your customers! Eva opens a lemonade stand. But so does Jake across the street and he is giving buyers free cookies. What can Eva do to get back her customers? Back and forth they go, improving their businesses with creativity and excitement. In the end, Eva’s brother reminds her that she loves kulfi and sells homemade kulfi ice cream. Recipe in the back.
The Cookie Stall by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by Magali Mansilla
Want to learn about being an entrepreneur and marketing? This picture book shows how Suzy and Max learned how to attract customer’s attention to their cookie stand after several fails.
The Startup Squad by Brian Weisfeld and Nicole C. Kear
Resa’s class gets put into groups for a lemonade stand competition and Resa gets paired with her best friend, Didi, and a new girl named Amelia. Unfortunately, Resa demands to be in charge of everything and their communication problems affect how their team is doing in the competition. Even though their team don’t win, the girls, especially Resa, learn the importance of teamwork and listening to all ideas. It’s a great book for showing kids about entrepreneurship and communication.
Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome by Sarai Gonzalez and Monica Brown
A warm-hearted, sweet story about a Latinx girl who’s an entrepreneur and devoted daughter and granddaughter. When her grandpa (tata) tells Sarai Gonzalez that his rental house is being sold, she determines to help by selling more cupcakes than ever. Even her sisters join in to help and so do her cousins. A darling start to a new series inspired by Sarai’s own life!
Project Startup: Eat Bugs by Heather Alexander with Laura DAsaro and Rose Wang
For their entrepreneur class, Hallie and Jaye, who aren’t friends, are paired together for a big project. It’s difficult to pick an idea but Jaye’s idea wins out; that is until it’s stolen by her former best friend. Therefore at the last minute, the girls pitch Hallie’s idea — edible crickets. As they navigate their own personal situations at home and with friends, the two use the scientific method and teamwork to research a winning product, ending up with the accidental discovery of smashed crickets as a protein powder in cookies. A delightful story about friendship, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and family.
For parents, I love the wisdom found in the book Creating Innovators by Tony Wagner. Wagner studied the childhood of inventors and entrepreneurs to find commonalities with the purpose to “develop the capacities of many more young people to be creative and entrepreneurial.” Nearly all the parents let their kids get bored, had time for unstructured play, and owned fewer toys than other families.
Tips to Teach Kids To Be Entrepreneurs
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