Entrepreneurship is not just for adults with years of experience and resources. It is also a skill that can be fostered at an early age, and there are many benefits to teaching children the skills and mindset needed to become successful entrepreneurs:
- According to a report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, young entrepreneurs (aged 18-24) have higher rates of entrepreneurial activity than any other age group.
- A survey by Junior Achievement USA found that 71% of teenagers are interested in entrepreneurship, and 62% want to start their own business someday.
These statistics help to emphasize the importance of teaching entrepreneurship to children and the potential impact it can have on their future success.
In this article, we will explore why entrepreneurship is important for children, how to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, and the Mentors Junior program, which helps young entrepreneurs develop their skills.
The Benefits of Entrepreneurship for Children
Entrepreneurship can teach children a variety of skills that are important for success in life. According to a report by the National Federation of Independent Business, 70% of entrepreneurs surveyed said they started their businesses out of a desire to be their own bosses.
By starting a business, children can learn how to set goals, manage their time and resources, and take responsibility for their decisions and actions.
In addition to these practical skills, entrepreneurship can also have a positive impact on children’s self-esteem and confidence. By taking on the challenge of starting a business, children can develop a sense of independence and self-reliance, and gain a sense of pride and accomplishment from their successes.
According to a study by the Kauffman Foundation, children who participate in entrepreneurship programs have higher levels of self-esteem and self-confidence than their peers who do not.
- The number of children involved in entrepreneurial activities increased by 15% from 2021 to 2022.
- The most common entrepreneurial activities among children in 2022 were selling goods or services (45%), starting a business (27%), and participating in entrepreneurship competitions (16%).
- Children who were involved in entrepreneurial activities in 2022 were more likely to report feeling confident in their ability to achieve their goals (70%) and to be satisfied with their lives (80%) than children who were not involved in entrepreneurial activities (50% and 60%, respectively).
Fostering an Entrepreneurial Mindset in Children
Here are some strategies that parents and educators can use to encourage children to think like entrepreneurs:
- Encourage creativity and innovation: According to a study by Adobe, 82% of educators and 78% of policymakers believe that creativity is important for economic growth and development. Encouraging children to think creatively and come up with new ideas can help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset. In fact, a study by the University of Toledo found that students who participated in creativity training had an average increase in creativity scores of 13.5%.
- Teach financial literacy: According to a report by the National Endowment for Financial Education, only 24% of millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy. By teaching children about budgeting, saving, and investing, we can help prepare them for success in the business world. A study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that students who received financial education had higher levels of financial literacy and were more likely to save money.
- Provide opportunities for hands-on learning: According to a study by the National Science Foundation, children who engage in hands-on learning have a better understanding and retention of the material. Allowing children to start their own businesses, whether it’s a lemonade stand or an online store, can give them valuable experience in entrepreneurship. A study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that countries with higher rates of youth entrepreneurship had higher levels of economic growth.
Mentors Junior Program
Mentors Junior is a program for young entrepreneurs (teenagers between the ages of 10-18 years old) which is organized as a parallel educational line that explores, develops and guides the entrepreneurial skills of adolescents through specialized activities to obtain professional entrepreneurial power that positively influences the economy in the future. Here are some statistics that demonstrate the impact of the program:
- Over 10000 young entrepreneurs have participated in the program since its inception in 2016.
- 85% of participants report an increase in their confidence and self-esteem.
- 70% of participants report an increase in their knowledge and skills related to entrepreneurship.
- Participants have started over 5000 successful businesses, contributing to the growth of the local Egyptian economy.
Our journey to support children’s entrepreneurship is still ongoing, and our latest initiative is what we have implemented in the “It’s a time to be an Entrepreneur” initiative. We conducted this initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education represented by the city of scientific research and technological applications and the entrepreneurship club in the city.
The initiative resulted in many entrepreneurial projects and ideas, including several students in the preparatory and secondary stages, led by student Abdulrahman Omar Khattab, who won first place in the entrepreneurship project with his “Smart glove for deaf and mute people”.
We will continue our support journey with him, as we have done with all the young people and students whom we have taken upon ourselves to nurture, train, and equip to become entrepreneurs of the future.
Examples of Successful Child Entrepreneurs
There are many examples of successful child entrepreneurs who have turned their ideas into successful businesses. Here are a few inspiring stories:
- Moziah Bridges: At the age of 9, Moziah started making bow ties and selling them online. Today, his company, Mo’s Bows, has been featured on Shark Tank and has partnerships with major retailers like Neiman Marcus. Last year, his company generated over $1 million in revenue.
- Mikaila Ulmer: When Mikaila was 4 years old, she was stung by a bee twice in one week. Instead of being afraid of bees, she decided to learn more about them and started making lemonade sweetened with honey. Her company, Me & the Bees Lemonade, is now sold in Whole Foods and other retailers. In 2021, the company’s revenue was over $2 million.
- Leanna Archer: At the age of 9, Leanna started making her own hair products using her grandmother’s recipe. Today, her company, Leanna’s Inc., sells a variety of hair products and has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The company’s revenue is estimated to be over $3 million.
Entrepreneurship can be a valuable learning experience for children, teaching them practical skills and fostering a sense of independence and self-reliance. By providing children with opportunities to explore their interests and pursue their ideas, we can help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset that will serve them well in the future. The Mentors Junior program is one way to support and guide young entrepreneurs, helping them to develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the business world. The statistics and success stories demonstrate the positive impact that entrepreneurship can have on children and the local economy, making it an important investment in the future.