Is Your Child A Budding Entrepreneur? Here’s What You Need To Know

Today’s kids have a lot more information at their fingertips than ever before.

They’re exposed to more at an earlier age and seem to be growing up more quickly than in generations past.

And with all the advancements in technology and more available opportunities, modern kids are doing what some adults only dream about.

According to the New York Times, this generation of children – known as “Generation Z” – have a great desire to start their own businesses.

Many kids aspire to be their own bosses when they grow up, but for today’s kids, they want to be business owners now.

The Times reports on the results of a Gallup Poll that shows more than half of middle schoolers and more than a quarter of high schoolers plan to start a business while still in school.

And this isn’t just a paper route or mowing lawns to make a few bucks.

Many kids of this generation want to make a difference now.  They have big ideas, technology at their fingertips, and the support of their parents.

Because of the popularity of online business platforms and the ability to market on social media, many parents are helping their kids to sell their ideas and wares.

Some are budding artists; some, writers; others are children with special needs who see an opportunity to help other kids in similar circumstances.

Because so many adults have used the opportunities that technology provides to start their own business ventures, their children have grown up with the same desire.

And this generation has grown up knowing how to market their ideas because they know how to use this technology – often more than their parents!

Trends in child-owned businesses appear to be mostly “philanthropic” as kids today see and hear so much more about the world around them on social media and other online platforms, and they want to get involved.

So what should parents do when their child is serious about starting a business now?

While we may want to brush it off as just “dreaming,” many of these kid startups are booming, and demand is high.

People want to hear what kids have to say.  They want the fresh ideas that they bring to the table.  And consumers are eager to help support them.

Experts agree that if a child is serious about starting a business, parents must be on board and supportive if it’s going to be a success.

It can be time-consuming, and family boundaries will have to be set.

Dr. Maurice Schweitzer, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, offers some crucial advice.

Obviously, if a child is serious about starting a business, parents will have to act as business managers and make the major decisions in regard to time and financial outlay.

And then there comes the division between work and family life, something that most adults are already struggling with.

“In a family, the basic tenets of that relationship are not reflected by a market economy.  Yet, within an organization, when you lose track of value creation, you’re not going to be very successful,” Dr. Schweitzer tells the Times.

He says that when families start a child-parent business, clear lines must be drawn between work, school, and family time.

Other experts say that communication and clear expectations are the key to having a successful parent-child business.

Start small, allowing your child to explore their ideas and see if they can find a market within your inner circle – friends, neighbors, coworkers.

They can research and pitch their ideas to companies who specialize in these types of businesses.  Many of these companies are finding that the future lies in the idealism of youth, and consumers are listening.

Above all, the family “hierarchy” must be adhered to.  Just because a child may be making some money in their business does not mean they are not still subject to parental authority over their safety and well-being.

This means that parents will have to weigh the risks in marketing and promoting their child’s ideas, help them save and manage money, and work out a reasonable schedule.

While it may not be for every family, it appears child entrepreneurship is on the rise and here to stay.

So, look out world!  These smart kids may be coming to a retailer near you.

Has your child ever approached you with a serious idea about starting a business?  Would you consider helping your child achieve this goal?  Leave us your comments.

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