Teaching Kids to Become Entrepreneurs

By Stefanie Neyland, Small Business Content Developer at Bizlaunch.com

Today’s kids are the tycoons of tomorrow, but are we teaching them enough about entrepreneurship to give them a head start in life?

As parents, we understand the importance of traditional school subjects like arithmetic, reading and writing, but there’s a topic seldom taught in schools that is arguably one of the most valuable lessons a child can learn—entrepreneurship. Teaching the fundamentals of entrepreneurship will give the expertise your kids will need to flourish later on in life, and being taught these skills and values from a young age will lead to greater job satisfaction, greater potential for wealth and a greater sense of accomplishment in future.

Without further ado, here are six steps to help your children become budding entrepreneurs of tomorrow.


1. Teach the importance of good financial sense

“The art is not in making money, but in keeping it.” – Proverb

Teaching kids about money early on in life will promote strong financial literacy—a subject which many schools neglect to teach. To instill a good sense of economics in your child, pay them to do odd jobs around the home to earn some money. In doing so, they’ll appreciate that money isn’t just given— it’s earned. Set them up a bank account and teach them how to budget their income and save earnings throughout their childhood.

2. It’s all about communication

'The art of communication is the language of leadership." - James Humes

Running a successful business all boils down to communication, and teaching communication skills to your child from an early age is a fantastic way to give them a head start in all areas of life—from personal relationships, to business and even parenting. Begin by promoting good manners; teach kids to always be polite and courteous to their peers and superiors. Maintaining eye contact and speaking clearly and with confidence are also great habits to encourage. Lastly, don’t neglect to teach good written communication skills; advise children not to abbreviate words and express the importance of good grammar when composing emails and text messages.

3. Salespeople in the making

"Everyone lives by selling something." - Robert Louis Stevenson

One of the most useful lifelong lessons we can teach children is the importance of selling. Sales is all around us, and the earlier they recognise this, the better. From selling a product or service to customers, to raising capital—the ability to sell is vital to the success of any business. Go with tradition and encourage your kids to start their own lemonade stand or involve them in a garage sale where they can sell their old toys to build their sales awareness.

4. Natural problem solvers

"A business is simply an idea to make other people's lives better." - Richard Branson

One of the most important skills an entrepreneur can have in their arsenal is the ability to problem solve—after all, that’s what business is all about. Teach your child to recognize opportunities to solve problems and brainstorm how they could potentially profit by creating a solution. This habit will develop their entrepreneurial spirit and will ultimately allow them to turn creative ideas into viable business opportunities.

5. Promote independence

"The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence." - Denis Waitley

As an entrepreneur, there’s no one to hide behind and no one to fall back on, and being comfortable acting independently is the key to success. Teaching children to be independent from an early age will help them become better business leaders one day.

6. Redefine ‘failure’

“In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail.” - Anon

Winston Churchill once said, “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”, so why do we have so many negative connotations surrounding the term ‘failure’? To avoid perpetuating this black-and-white definition of the word, teach kids early on not to take failure to heart, and when they don’t succeed, to pick themselves up, try again and learn from their mistakes.  As the old saying goes, ‘it’s not the winning, but the taking part that counts’.

Bonus: Persistence is key

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” - Benjamin Franklin

Above all else, the most important piece of wisdom we can impart on to the next generation is to never give up.


By Andrew Patricio

July 03, 2013