It might sound cliche to say that children are our future; but it is so true. Teaching kids the art of entrepreneurship is a way to boost their confidence, critical thinking skill, creative ability, and management skills through simple, engaging and creative entrepreneurial activities. Kids should be encouraged no matter how seemingly absurd their business idea might look or sound as the business principle they learn at their age will form the foundation for business success as adults.

A study conducted in 2007 and then repeated with similar results in 2010, by the Kaufman Foundation, shows that kids are in fact more likely to start a business or aspire to do so if they know another entrepreneur. Overall, about 40% of kids from ages eight to seventeen expressed an interest in starting a business[1].

However, a parent/ guardian do not have to be the example or the inspiration for a child to become an entrepreneur, but could nurture the child’s idea along an entrepreneurial path. In Nigeria for instance, children are not only raised by parents/ guardians but also by neighbours, other relatives and the community.

Some simple business ideas that kids could explore include:

The Lemonade Stand: This business is quite popular with kids and can be an exciting entrepreneurial venture for teaching production, quality control, marketing etc. Adults/ guardians could assist in getting permits for kids to set up a lemonade stand in the neighborhood.

Paper Craft: Kids can be quite creative with making paper arts which could be sold for stipend. Parents/ guardians can work with kids to design and create art works for other kids and adults. This could help build their design and production skills.

Pet Sitting: Although pet sitting is not common in this part of the world, it could be a good business venture for kids to run. It is a perfect way to teach kids about responsibility and business. Skills required include a pet-friendly attitude and a preparedness to work hard.

Baking: Kids can learn the process of baking from their parents/ guardians and bake simple cookies and cakes for sale to their friends and neighbors. Here kids can learn the skill for following a step-by-step process to accomplish a task.

Cake Decoration: Kids who have perfected their baking and cake decoration skills can offer their cake decoration skills as a service for a fee. This can help develop and improve their creativity skills[2].

Planting: The whole world is going green and planting is not only good for the environment but can be a good business venture where kids can grow vegetables and flowers for sale. It is another way to teach kids about responsibility.

Candy and Sweets: With the supervision of adults/ guardians and the proper permits, kids can start food based businesses, like creating new types of candy for sale.

Creative Art: Kids with creative skills like painting, singing, acting, dancing, comedy etc. can make money offering their creative services for a fee.

Sharpening a child’s entrepreneurial skills will not only equip him/ her with the skills necessary to tackle a limitless future, it will also impart the value of hard work and value for money. Kids can be quite skillful in learning attitudes and principles, and teaching them the art of entrepreneurship early on will only help to equip them with skills that they will need to secure their future.

[1] Jonathan Fields, July 19, 2011: Entrepreneurship For Kids – Is It Ever Too Young? accessed Mar 17, 2017

[2] 50 Small Business Ideas For Kids, Nov 12, 2016, accessed Mar 17, 2017