KidPreneur Graduate Wins 1st Place in Inventor Competition!

Congratulations Isaac! This Inventor/KidPreneur is continuing to take his skills to greater heights and challenging himself by innovating new products for market.

His latest creation, The Marble Run! It's so fun! Not only is it a marble race or a maze, but it is one you build yourself and can change over and over again!

Inventors are great at making new inventions, whether they are fun or solving a problem. But Isaac is also a KidPreneur because he has learned how to package and sell his inventions as well. In fact, when I first saw his Marble Run, I thought he was ReSelling them! They looked so professional!

Checkout these pictures of how he packages them.

       

Shrink wrapped with custom instructions, bagged little pieces and a great logo, Issac first launched these gems at the Tinypreneurs 2019 event to see how they would sell.

Previously, in our Build a Biz Kids Fall 2018 program, Isaac started his Entrepreneur adventure making Churros. That's right, Churros! Who doesn't love those! He made them in the morning and then brought a toaster oven and "add on" dipping sauce as a tasty up-sell. His marble run was a different type of market and, as we have seen at many of our markets, didn't sell as fast as the impulse buy food did.

But everything is a learning experience and there are many factors to consider when working to make a product "successful" such as price, packaging, how you display it and what your method for distribution is, but also the product itself. Is it something the market actually wants?

Issac put it to the test! He entered an inventor content through Instructables and waited for the feedback. He had lot's of comments asking questions and complementing his innovation. That's a great sign! But then, after waiting patiently, he finally heard back! While it wasn't the Grand Prize, he won 1st place and a nice gift card to go with it! He was onto something!

What to do now.... Well, Isaac, congratulations on your Big Win! We have no doubt that you will make this business a success just like your Churro business. It's just finding the right combination of your business factors and then you are off to success!

Isaac and his brother just finished our Inventor's Paradise summer camp and made some pretty incredible creations. We hope to see him back again and can't wait to hear what he is up to next !

Here's a link to his Instructables Contest Entry with Video.


What Will My Child Learn From Entrepreneurship?

It's a great question. If I spend my hard earned dollars and place my child in an Entrepreneurship Program, rather than something else, perhaps more conventional, what will they learn? What will they get out of it?

It really is a great question, but it also really depends. Here is what I mean:

Meet Jake. Jake is an incredible kid that we had the pleasure of working with last fall in our KidPreneur Programming. Jake is full of energy, ideas and was excited about what he was about to embark upon. This was Jake's first semester with us.

During his first program, Jake commented in his interview that he loved building a business. He liked working with money and he liked designing his product, which was a dog leash. "That's great", you might be saying. Jake had fun. But what did he get out of it? What did her learn?

For that answer, we could ask his parents. In their interview, they were so happy to find a program that Jake took an interest in, as well as ownership of. He wasn't a big into sports or other conventional kid activities. This was something where he could express himself, make BIG decisions and see the fruits of his labour, not just in money, but in reactions from the general public, his peers and his own internal satisfaction.

How do we know so much? Aside from the obvious answer that we try to ask each student and parent for feedback and insight, we know because Jake came back to take the same program again and this time he did things differently.

His first product, dog leashes, was at the higher end of the price range at $12. For that reason, he noticed that he didn't sell quite as much as some of his fellow classmates whose products were in the $3-$8 range. He also noticed that the food items were selling out at most booths. With observations like these, he rolled up his sleeves and made a plan.

Jake's Giant Cookies were born and THIS business was a HIT! His GIANT Cookies were one of the first booth's to sell out and that was as much as any entrepreneur could hope for.

At Build a Biz Kids, we know that our students are more receptive when other students teach them, as opposed to adults, so whenever possible we try to create opportunities for that to happen. When a student returns for a second or third semester, we offer them the opportunity to choose a class where they feel they can add the most value and teach a portion of class. Jake LOVED Market Day, which is interesting because he didn't do as well as he had hoped the first time around, but he learned a lot and was keen to share it. He spoke of how to prepare for the day, what to bring and so on, as well as how to talk to customers to get a sale. The advice was great for the other students to hear but what an incredible opportunity for Jake to be a mentor in his class.

So, when a parent asks us, what will my child learn, it really is hard to say. We can answer with things like financial literacy, problem solving, public speaking, build confidence and leadership, but it really depends on your child. Each student loves a different aspect of class, a different stage in building a business. Some love the creative outlet in product design and marketing, others love the challenge of speaking with the general public and seeing what reactions they can get out of them. Others just love the idea of making their own money. But they always learn something. EVERY Child pulls real world life skills and builds resilience that can carry them through into any activity they venture into in life.

That is what this program is about. It doesn't matter if your child becomes an entrepreneur when they grow up. That's not the point. The point is the give them the space to make decisions that impact, for better or worse, something they care about. Something they are calling the shots on and taking full ownership of. This is life. We are just exposing them to it a little earlier in a safe environment rather than thrusting them into it after high school graduation when real debt and consequences can be more significant.

 


Meet Violet, One of Our Boldest Students Yet!

Have you seen Violet's business? If you have been anywhere within a few feet of it, I bet you have. How do I know? Because Violet is incredible at speaking to Every New Potential Customer who walks by her table and won't let you walk away until you hear about her budding business!

While all of our students are excited to build their business and are nearly bouncing off the walls the night before a big Market Day, Violet really focused on her training and understood that it isn't enough to just set up her booth and hope people come running. It isn't about a shy child vs one that is not. It was about her focus on getting the job done and working through what works best and what doesn't. Violet wanted to be successful and continues to practice this skill.

For all of our Build a Biz Kid Graduates, we offer additional opportunities to build their businesses and learn new skills. Violet jumped at the chance to participate in a real adult Market hosted by the Tri Cities Collective in Port Moody.

Her first Market Day was a part of her program with Build a Biz Kids. She set up shop, spoke to customers, made some sales and had a lot of fun. when she came to set up for her second market, Wow! Violet didn't just set up the same business and hope that things went better. She improved her business, she observed other students businesses on the previous market day and then tried some new approaches.

The first thing she did was expand her product line strategically. Violet sold handmade jewelry using up-cycled materials. She offered earrings and bracelets with reasonable price tags. She had a beautiful display with all of the colors everything came in for easy view and clearly marked information with prices.

So what did she add? A simple, low cost matching hair pin. She consciously thought of price when making these because she wanted an easy up sell or low cost item for someone who didn't have enough money to buy a full set. By the end of the day, we asked how it went and, low and hold, her hair pins were the best seller.

We try to make a point to interview each student at their market to understand how they are processing the day. This market was different. They were set up next to adult vendors selling competitive products who do this for a living. That's some steep competition so we asked her how she felt about it. “It’s cool and doesn’t feel competitive because none of them are anything like my products." YES! That's exactly the mindset we hope to instill in each KidPreneur. What you are doing is special and unique; just focus on your customers and your business model. There is enough room for everyone.

We asked Violet what she learned at this market and what she might do differently at the next one. She noted that her earrings weren't selling as well as she liked, but her bracelets were. “For the next market, I might make some adjustments like a better display or lower the price.” The learning process is never complete in Entrepreneurship and Violet is a Real KidPreneur taking this approach.

It can't be underestimated how much resiliency is developed by placing our children in these kinds of real world situations. By giving them the right mindset before embarking on something so BIG in their worlds, Violet saw a lack in sales as an opportunity for HER to improve. Not to complain about how the world is not giving her money or treating her nicely. This attitude will serve her in all aspects of her life as she grows into an incredible teenager and adult.

Violet gave some quick advice to other kids wanting to start their own business. “Know where you are going to sell and your target customer and don’t make too much product or you’ll be selling to your friends forever!” That is fantastic advice Violet! See you at the next Market Day!

To find out how you can register your child for one of our KidPreneur Programs, visit our website.
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