Benjamin's Entrepreneurial Journey

Starting a business is a Journey no matter how old you are! This is Benjamin's story from choosing his product, the trials and errors of perfecting his product, to making game day decisions to increase his sales and success!

"My name is Benjamin an my business is called Benjamin’s Bomb-a-licious Bath Balms. The teacher of the class was doing a slide show and none of them really caught my eyes or my focus but when I saw the bath bombs I really felt engaged and I really wanted to do it. It took me a long time and a lot of tries and they always kept on falling apart. We actually made them last minute yesterday 9 to 12. There's a lot of things here that you don't learn at school and I had no idea they ever existed before I took this program. It also, it teaches kids how to fend for themselves instead of their parents buying them stuff and learning to earn money and learning how to do this before they grow up. Well I didn't really get a lot of customers at in the first 30 minutes so I was kind of worried 'cause I didn't make any money, but then my uncle came and he told me to upgrade my elevator pitch and now I have a lot of customers"

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Kid entrepreneur programming is offered by Build a Biz Kids, a local non profit society focused on helping kids to develop and strengthen their essential soft skills. Students gain confidence, and learn foundational skills such as critical thinking, resiliency, financial literacy, leadership, decision making, self awareness, communication, public speaking, and so much more! Find out more about us and our incredible students at http://BuildaBizKids.com


Let Your Kids Impress You

Assumptions have always been my weakness. I make too many. I try to predict other peoples reactions or how a scenario might play out so I can prepare for whatever the next steps are ahead of time. When I am correct, I save time and effort, plus experience internal satisfaction, as we all do, that I got it right!

But for the times I am wrong, sometimes there is frustration or annoyance because my plans have fallen apart and I have to reorganize "the game plan". A simple example is planning how much food to make when company comes over. Too much or too little. Rarely my assumptions are correct.

But what I absolutely LOVE, is when my assumptions are wrong and the results are AMAZING. That is exactly what happened to me last week.

This summer, Build a Biz Kids launched our Inventor's Paradise 1 Week Summer Camp and it was amazing! Everyday the students left so excited about the ideas they came up with and the prototypes they were able to design from scratch, all based on their imagination.

On the first day, the last activity is to capture a pink fluffy monster who is hiding out in their closet, eating marshmallows and chewing holes in their socks. That little rascal! Their job is the design a trap to capture this pink fluffy monster using materials they are provided. Well, to plan this camp, you need to make MANY assumptions because you want to ensure you give them all supplies that they can work with and not limit their imagination. At the same time, you don't want to bring the entire Michaels Craft Store to each day of camp. So, I thought, if I were them, how would I make a trap.

My first thought, Tissue Boxes! Of course! They will want to capture a monster in a box with whatever mechanism they come up with but a box would be the main part of their trap for sure! Throughout the months prior, I ensured that I could collect enough tissue boxes for everyone as well as other supplies like paper cups, string, elastics and so much more. I wanted to make sure they could really let their minds wander.

Well, the day came and the facilitators explained their task. Catch That Monster! And they did, Oh Boy did they ever! And guess what?! Only ONE of them used a tissue box. Other than that, each student did something completely different and amazing! I was so impressed.

In fact, each day they came up with cell phone holders, robotic claws, and even arcades games, all made by their own two hands and vivid imagination. It was truly one of the most fun camps ever and we can't wait to make a few tweaks and run it again next week. In fact, we have 3 more Inventor Paradise Camps left this summer.

You can find the 2019 Summer Schedule and additional details here. 

So, I guess there is a bit of a lesson here, for me anyway. Planning dinners are hard; stop trying to get it right. And, Kids have different, more dynamic imaginations than you. Don't place assumptions on what they WILL do. Don't set limitations on what they CAN do. Just give them the space, and they will impress you every time.


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.


Meet Alexa! This Weeks KidPreneur Profile!!

Alexa is a Real KidPreneur! Here's a bit about Alexa and her journey as a KidPreneur with Build a Biz Kids!

It Started at Summer Camp!

Alexa started with us at just 10 years old in our Lemonade Stand Challenge Summer Camp with her brother. Her camp worked hard and was divided girls against the boys. Together, both teams created their own business strategies and launch their businesses to raise funds for the great local Charity, Starfish Pack!

Altogether, these students raised a HUGE $490 in their 1 week camp!!! WOW!

Full KidPreneur Spring Program, Continuing Her Development!

Next, Alexa took on the challenge and enrolled in our 10 week KidPreneur Start Up Program where she was inspired by a family friend's business. From that, Alexa's Take-and-Bake was born! She sold mason jars filled with Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie ingredients that you can just Take-and-Bake! Her packaging was beautiful and her Pop Up Shop Launch was a Success! She says that she is excited to keep growing it with new recipes!

Alexa's advice to other kids wanting to start their own business is twofold.
1. Focus on your packaging and display. Attractive packaging and a nice looking business will attract more customers to your business to buy from you.
2. Practice your elevator pitch. You will need to practice what you want to say to a customer because you only have a small amount of time to tell them what you have.

Continuing Her Practical Skills Development

Alexa, along with another BBK KidPreneur Ishani, did an Instagram Takeover for Ruben's Shoes at their Annual Ruben's Rukus event! Alexa and Ishani were able to go around interviewing kids about their experience and building their public speaking and confidence!

Where to Next? 
The great thing about Alexa is she loves a new challenge. She takes over the mic at her brothers ball games to announce the players during the game and is in musical theatre as well. I'm sure we haven't see the last of her!

Your child can start their entrepreneurial journey This Summer! The Lemonade Stand Challenge is BACK along with a brand new camp, Inventor's Paradise!

View more on these camps and our other programs here! 


What About After Their Business Program?

We are so excited to meet & work with each and every child who enters into a Build a Biz Kids Program, but we are EVEN MORE excited to see what they go on to do afterwards!

Our mission is to help students learn the critical skills required to take action on their ideas while helping them develop empathy for the world around them. Our programs do not just teach theory, but practice Action! But practice in learning lab can only go so far. We need our students to identify opportunities outside of our program and in their real lives. That's practice; that is putting in their 10,000 hours to mastery.

Every graduate, & their parents from one of our programs, is invited to a very special Facebook Group that focuses on future development. Our students have been notified of additional opportunities to run their businesses throughout their communities. They have also been invited to additional education events and so much more!

In just the last week, our students have been able to participate in 2 incredible opportunities. Last weekend, our students set up shop and joined in a Real Adult Handmade Market through the Tri Cities Collective! That's right! They got to set up their businesses right next to adults who do this kind of thing all the time to make profit and provide for their families. That is real world experience that they will reflect on for years.

But my most favorite activity our students were invited to was a Pitch Competition hosted by SingularityU & I-onConnect. That's right, a real live Dragons Den where 5 finalists got to pitch their businesses to a panel of 6 judges and the winner walked away with $40k and support to make their business really take off. For a KidPreneur of 10 or 11 to get to watch something like that was incredible to see. It was some high tech content, in some cases, and big picture ideas, but they all "got it". They not only got it, they asked great follow up questions, had their own opinions based on what they heard, and overall, kept remarking how exciting it all was.

Kids, and people in general, only know that which they are exposed to. In just 1 week, Build a Biz Kids Students were able to rub shoulders running their businesses alongside as equals to adults who have been doing it for years. They were able to learn from these veterans on what works and how they can improve. They were also given the "thumbs up" from the winner of the pitch competition and told that they could do this too. That they could have an idea, learn how to make a great pitch, and that others who believe in what you believe will help you make it a reality.

All in all, this week has been a busy one, but full of momentous moments that will surely stick with these lucky students for years to come and shape the many spectacular things they do.

We invite you and your children to become a part of our alumni. Expose them to all that is possible in the world. Show them what you wish you were shown as a child. Give them the opportunity to learn the skills, that took us 10 and 20 years to learn, now.

Summer camps are open for registration online. Our fall KidPreneur Programs will be opening for registration soon. Be sure to like us on Facebook & Sign Up for our Newsletter so you wont miss any of these great opportunities.

We look forward to meeting you and your KidPreneur soon!