“Entrepreneurship is the process of designing,
launching, and running a new business, i.e. a
startup company offering a product, process or service.”
— From Wikipedia
For the longest time, Dindin had been thinking of her future business. While she is aiming to become an eye doctor for kids, she also wants to have a business on the side. She said she wanted to own a cafe and she has already thought of the name as well as the unique things that she would like to include in her menu. I would often joke with her to start with her business first so that she can finance her med school because by that time, her Papa and I will already be senior citizens. haha
At the start of the summer vacation, I asked her if she wants to help out in our sticker business. She replied, “Uh, Mom, why don’t I just have my own business?” I didn’t know what to say. I was also too busy to plan with her but I understand how it would be a big thing to teach business to kids.
Then came the opportunity with KIDtrepreneur, a summer workshop here in Bacolod City organized by Gato Verde. We coordinated with the organizer and already planned on joining. Then I got the message from MOMS Radio Bacolod head Teena Rodriguez that they are one of the sponsors for the event and would we want to take on their free spot? Surely, we did and that made everything sweeter. 😀
Teaching Entrepreneurship to Kids
One of the reasons why we are homeschooling our kids is that we can expose them to a variety of experiences that are not offered in the classroom setting. We want ours kids to explore, to be hands on with a lot of things, and to make their whole world (even beyond) as their classroom. And one of the things that we would like to impart to them is that apart from getting a 9-5 job, there is such a thing as being an entrepreneur. We want them to know that this is another possibility that they can pursue, aside from just working in an office and receiving a salary. While being employed is admirable, we want them to know that there are other things that they can do. Or maybe they can do both–work in the corporate world and still become an entrepreneur on the side. And the KIDtrepreneur program fit our mindset perfectly.
As Kidtrepreneurs, the kids were taught about business–the problem, the purpose, the planning, the setting up, and the actual implementation of their business. Of course, they are starting small but who knows how far the kids’ plans would go? They had a half day lecture held in a classroom made of balloons at SM City Bacolod, which was followed by a mentoring session the following day. In the lecture, Teacher M.M. Cusi taught the kids some basic principles about business and enterprise, including money management, in a manner that the kids would understand. We re-enforced the money management part by telling Dindin that we should not spend so much during the bazaar because that will eat up her earnings. So for our food, we brought packed lunch and dinner so that we would not have to spend at the mall. We also brought water and snacks.
One of the things that I overheard them discuss at the Kidtrepreneur workshop is, “If there is a problem, how will you solve it as an entrepreneur?” We would often ask our daughter this question because it gets her to thinking about solutions to her problems.
Then they were given assignments to fulfill, such as the name of their business, the purpose, their products, the features of the products, the logo, and information for their calling card. Yes, having printed calling cards is part of the Kidtrepreneur experience.
The following day, they were to submit their requirements for mentoring where Teacher M.M. and Ms. Kitkat Cusi-Lobaton (founder of Kidtrepreneur) guided the kids for their preparation. My daughter did all her answers with little help from us and she even drew the kids for her logo. She knows what she wants because she said that her logo would be her selling stickers to boys and girls. What fun!
We were then given more than a week to prepare for our products to display, including the design of the calling card and the tarpaulin banner, for the three-day bazaar held at the north wing atrium of SM City Bacolod. It was a tiring three days but Dindin stayed there most of the time, except on the first day where she had to go out for a couple of hours to attend her McDo Kiddie Crew closing ceremonies and on the last day when it was her friend Gianna’s 7th birthday. But nonetheless, she stayed at her booth for three days, from opening till closing. What a wonderful opportunity for her! Just one of our activities while homeschooling in Bacolod!
At the Kidtrepreneur bazaar, they had a “lounge” area where there are seats and tables as well as a TV set where Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax was shown. The movie is a lovely remind that as entrepreneurs, we should not be driven by greed to the point of destroying the world. Kidtrepreneur is not just about making money. It is more about teaching good values and ethical business practices to the kids so that someday, when they start their own businesses, they will set out to help solve the world’s problems and not just build wealth. Our enterprise should be one that will make the world a better place to live in. Furthermore, they were encouraged to donate or give from their earnings. So they were taught to earn, save, and then also to donate. That will teach them that the world does not just revolve around them. There are people and organizations that need help and they have to capacity to extend help. That’s reality.
Dindin, however, still has a lot to learn. Many times, she got bored with the low traffic of people coming to her booth. I asked her that she has a problem, which is the low number of people passing our way. I presented the problem to her and we thought of a solution–she was going to invite people to come to our booth, showing them our sticker name templates. But she gave up after only a few tries, telling me that she could not attract attention. And a lot of time during her stay at the bazaar was spent playing with her co-kidtrepreneurs. haha Kids! Well, they are Kidtrepreneurs anyway.
Whether our kids end up working in an office, owning a clinic, teaching in school, becoming athletes, or taking care of their kids, it is our hope that they will have the mindset of an entrepreneur.
At the end of the Kidtrepreneur bazaar, they had a closing ceremony where the kids were given certificates of completion while awards were given to the kidtrepreneurs who excelled in their display, in their ingenuity, and their service to customers.
“Whether our kids end up working in an office,
owning a clinic, teaching in school, becoming athletes,
or taking care of their kids, it is our hope that they
will have the mindset of an entrepreneur.”
The Kidtrepreneur workshop here in Bacolod City began in 2012, when an entrepreneur-mother decided to heed her kids’ requests that they become entrepreneurs themselves. Growing up, these kids would hear stories about how their mother began to pursue entrepreneurship early on. This opened their eyes and gave them the desire to make their own products and eventually sell them as well. Encouraged by this display of enthusiasm, the entrepreneur-mother, Catherine “Kitkat” Cusi-Lobaton, conjured up a plan to create a program, not only for her own kids, but also for other children of their age group. Fueled with excitement, ideas, and creative juices, Kitkat and her sister MM, who luckily is a preschool teacher, put their heads together – thus the Kidtrepreneur Program was born.
The first Kidtrepreneur workshop and bazaar was held at the Robinsons Place here in Bacolod in the summer of 2012 and it was followed by another event in 2014. In this program, the children are given basic tools and strategies for starting, managing, and growing their own business venture through a workshop. The principles they learned will then be applied in a three-day bazaar where they will put their ideas and concepts into practice. Because of its success in 2012 and 2014, the Kidtrepreneur workshops continues every summer in different venues, allowing young minds to dream, create, and earn.
Kidtrepreneur Workshop Goals
1. To raise and develop responsible social entrepreneurs
2. To encourage creative thinking, planning, and dreaming
3. To develop the kids’ business knowledge and skills
Here are the participants of this year’s Kidtrepreneur. They may be few, but the important thing is, they have become fast friends. 😀 And of course, we also patronized our neighbor’s offerings, despite our telling Dindin that we will not spend so much during the bazaar because that will forfeit our doing business there. hahaha We couldn’t help it–our neighbors’ offerings are so tempting! haha
What the Kids Learned
1. Problem solving
2. Being relevant to our society
3. Making money
4. Saving money
6. Designing and enhancing creativity
7. Service and courtesy
8. Hard work and sacrifice
9. Handling their sales
10. Making new friends
11. Having friendly competition
12. Having fun