The Story Behind Build a Biz Kids

How It All Began

Build a Biz Kids was co-founded by Leah Coss and Braden Ricketts using their values and beliefs as the foundation of the Company, their many ideas as the construction plan with an endless elevation, and their inspiration and drive as the mortar holding everything together.

In 2018, Coss was a Franchise Consultant and Ricketts was working with the YMCA doing career counseling, program development, and grant funding. Coss had recently made it her goal to be the best and most well-known franchise consultant in the world. To do this, she started scheduling meetings with a variety of CEOs to compile a database of information that could help her accomplish this goal.

After having conducted a few interviews, she spoke with a woman named Tressa Woods, Founder and CEO of Young Entrepreneur Learning Labs (YELL). YELL is an organization that offers hands-on learning for children through entrepreneurship programs. Not long after talking to Woods, Coss changed directions completely, deciding to launch her own licensed YELL program alongside Ricketts, registering themselves as a non-profit company under the name Biz Kids Practical Education Association, also known as Build a Biz Kids. The Company now develops their own practical education programs and hands-on learning curriculums for children aged 8-14.

 

Who We Are

Build a Biz Kids provides youth of all backgrounds with access to practical education that prepares them for a continuously evolving world. The Company mission is to prepare a new generation of forward-thinking youth to tackle whatever challenges the future may hold. Their practical education programs are designed to provide kids with hands-on learning experiences through real-world projects. They encourage the application and development of foundational soft skills that will remain relevant for a lifetime, such as critical thinking, resiliency, decision-making, leadership, adaptability, self awareness, communication, and collaboration.

One of the main goals of Build a Biz Kids is to push the boundary of traditional education. On a larger scale, the Company aims to transform the way humans are valued in society. This is accomplished through allowing kids to think differently, supporting the idea that one’s value should be based on the discovery and pursuit of their passions and fostering a lifelong learning mentality from an early age.

 

Advocacy

In addition to the practical education goals of Build a Biz Kids, the Company seeks to alleviate and eventually eliminate the societal challenge that is the “digital divide” – the gap between those who have access to computers and the internet and those who do not. The digital divide has been increasing alongside technological evolution, and the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic has caused it to be exacerbated. This is because educational institutions, like many other industries, were forced to go completely virtual, leaving behind anyone without access to adequate technology and high-speed internet.

The efforts of Build a Biz Kids toward the reduction of the digital divide are being done by spreading awareness on social media, facilitating dialogues, and educating on the many ways in which people can get involved and contribute. The Company collects funds to purchase computers for donation, in addition to upcycling used computers that have been donated by organizations.

As an outcome of the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, Build a Biz Kids launched BBK Network, an online learning platform operating under the same guiding principles and goals toward providing practical education for children. Unlike its non-profit sister brand, BBK Network is a benefit corporation social enterprise. A social enterprise aims to achieve social, cultural, community, and/or environmental outcomes through their operations. For each class of BBK Network students, one laptop is donated to a family in need, and one student in a BBK program receives subsidized tuition.

 

The Build a Biz Kids Team

It is a community effort that drives Build a Biz Kids forward. There is a volunteer army working behind the scenes and contributing to the Company mission utilizing their own expertise to reach new levels and goals. It is through the passion of the community, partners, and growing team that Build a Biz Kids has been able to see such incredible results in such a short amount of time.

The Company will continue to pursue their mission and vision, advocating for change and progressing in accordance with shifting environmental conditions and adversity, just as they encourage their students to do through their practical education programs. Coss, President of Build a Biz Kids, states that “There is no right answer, there are only better answers that evolve over time.” She believes that education systems should focus on developing incredible human beings, not just good calculators, and her values will always be the heart and soul of Build a Biz Kids.