How to Raise an Entrepreneur

Tips to awaken your child’s business sense

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Candi Sparks is the author of Can I Have Some Money, a personal finance book for children.

The mind of a child is unparalleled. Bursting with creativity and fearlessness, most children do not see boundaries, only possibilities. For parents, tapping into that creativity can mean the fruition of a million-dollar business, or self sufficiency at an early age. After all, the R. Donahue Peebles and Michael Lee Chins of the world have to get their start somewhere.

Whether it was realizing how easy it is to part fellow classmates with their allowances, or realizing how neighbors can use the extra energy of the kid-next-door to rake leaves, or clean out attics, there is an inner entrepreneur lying within most children, ready to be uncovered.

“Kids are amazingly willing to put themselves out there,” says Candi Sparks, author of the personal finance book series for youngsters, Can I Have Some Money (Sparks Fly; $11.99).  “They sell Girl Scout cookies door-to-door and candy on the subway. We have to get them to realize the importance of the talent they posses.” spoke with Sparks about how parents and mentors can nurture a child’s inner entrepreneur while still having fun. If a parent realizes her child has great ideas or talents that can generate money, or want to teach children how to make their own money, where should she start?

Candi Sparks: Get [your child] to realize that their talent is just as important, beautiful and wonderful as anything they can buy in the store. You’re moving them away from a consumerism mentality and getting them to be a producer. They’re bringing value out of themselves for others to see and appreciate, and they’ll appreciate it in the form of buying it. Parents, you are their marketing and strategy support system, but it’s really about the child’s enthusiasm and appreciation of what they can do.

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  • Great article. My 11 year old daughter started her own business this summer. She started a cupcake business and so far she has two companies that have standing monthly orders. What we did was ask family members for financial contributions to help get her business off the ground. My daughter was an exhibitor at an expo last weekend and it was a great experience for her. Many people were asking her business questions, how she got started, what kind of cooking and baking training has she had? it was really good and I’m seeing how my daughter is learning and growing. I open a business account for my daughter and I’m teaching her how make deposit’s how to track money she has made what her profit margin is and etc.

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