Money Matters and the Rise of the Kiddo-Preneur

By Maiki Oreta

Kids are in school for years and years learning about English, math, science, history, the arts, etc. from a battalion of teachers, but when it comes down to teaching kids about money, how to handle it, and how to make it grow, we their parents are pretty much all they’ve got…until they start learning about this on their own – though trial and error.

I think that the sooner they start trying, the sooner they start making their mistakes, the more equipped they’ll be as adults to face the greater challenges that come with financial freedom.

To this end, my six-year old daughter Brielle and I launched The Kiddo-preneur Bazaar – an exercise in entrepreneurship for young minds.

The first of its kind, it’s a place where kids can be entrepreneurs, even for just a day.

The idea in its infancy

The idea for this project came late last year, when Brielle was learning about the peso denominations in school. While helping her with her homework, I realized that she wasn’t interested in the lesson or about money in general.

Don’t get me wrong, she knew that money was important and that she needed it to buy her “so called essentials” (ice-cream, toys, carousel rides, candy) but beyond that, she just didn’t give a hoot.

So together, we decided that what she really needed was practical experience; the kind that comes with starting one’s own business.

Buckling down to work

Initially, the plan was for a little lemonade stand, something quick, easy to execute and temporary, but things soon took a shape of their own and eventually the business idea mushroomed into something much bigger.

Since we didn’t have a venue for this type of business, Brielle and I set one up, not just for her, but also for all the other kids out there that want to try their hand at entrepreneurship early on.

The Kidd-Preneur Bazaar #1

Our first foray into this took place last December 4th at The Rockwell Club in Makati. The turnout was astounding and the bazaar was jam-packed from start to finish loaded with hundreds of kid entrepreneurs, their families, and their friends.

It was great to see kids from different age groups setting up and decorating their booths, talking to customers, distributing change, and ultimately earning their own money!

One group of little boys in particular stood out. Their booth, “Cookies for a Cause” earned a cool P102,000.00 in sales that day! Mind you, they sold boxes of cookies worth P100.00 each for just about five hours. I guess customers just couldn’t resist their charms and the good nature of their business (they donated their proceeds to their chosen charity, CRIBS).

Lessons learned

The kid entrepreneurs were so thrilled, so eager, so dedicated and by the end of the day, extremely tired. I even overheard one little boy say to his dad, “Dad, I’m so tired. Work is so hard. Now I understand why you are so tired when you come home and why sometimes you can’t make it home for dinner.” The dad looked as if his heart was about to melt and he gave his son a big pat on the back for a job well done.

Now, while Brielle my six-year old never asks me for money as blatantly as she used to, she still does ask money-oriented questions. These questions however, have taken an entirely different tone since she’s now conscious about price and whether or not the item she wants is indeed worth the amount it costs.

As a mom, I’m just happy that she now understands the value of hard work and that money doesn’t grow on trees!

The Kiddo-preneur Bazaar #2

Given the success of our first bazaar, we’re having another one this summer.

The next Kiddo-preneur Bazaar will be on Saturday, April 14th at the event hall of the Aphaland Southgate Mall (EDSA corner Chino Roces Ave.). If you’d like your child to join please contact kiddopreneur@gmail.com or 0917-580-0216.

As an added bonus we’re giving the first 35 registered booths one slot each to a Philippine Stock Exchange sponsored field trip to the Makati bourse on March 30th. Bell ringing simulations, games, prizes, and a cartoon screening on investing await this lucky batch of Kiddo-preneurs!

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