by Aisha DaCosta, Guest Blogger
Several months ago I had the pleasure to interview the world’s youngest entrepreneurs, Sanjay and Shravan Kumaran. These two young men started their mobile app business, Go Dimensions two years ago when they were eight and ten years old, respectively. To date, they have created four apps and spoken to over ten thousand people in India and South Korea about entrepreneurship. During our interview there was one thing in particular that stood out. When asked why they started their business the brothers said, “we wanted to practice business.”
Think about that for a moment and imagine a world were every child between the ages of 8 and 10 years old started to practice business ownership. Whether or not they grew up to be full-time entrepreneurs would be insignificant when compared to the skills that the practice of business would teach them.
Here are the top three reasons why I believe that every child should start a business:
Reason #1 The Mastering of Soft Skills
Your work ethic, attitude, communication skills, emotional intelligence and personality are all soft skills that can make or break you in business and employment. Owning a business at a young age can help children overcome feelings of inadequacy that start to rear their ugly head in their pre-teens. You are forced to become confident and self-assured as you weather the recruitment of potential customers and investors.
Reason #2 The Real Life Application of Mathematics and Language Arts
Understanding the numbers and communicating the value of your product and service are all critical skills in business and life. Entrepreneurship can teach children how to perform market research, articulate their thoughts, and foster a desire to read literature from relevant thought leaders in their area of interests.
Reason #3 Earning Income When They Are Not Employable
While there is an age restriction on when a child can work for someone unrelated to them, there is no age limit on when they can start a business with adult supervision. According to recent statistics, the unemployment rate for 16 – 24 years olds is higher than any other age group. Minorities in that age demographic face higher than average rates of unemployment, this is especially true for African Americans. Entrepreneurship presents a viable means for earning income during periods of unemployment and underemployment.
So there you have it, my top three reasons why I believe every child should practice entrepreneurship. If we take a page out of Sanjay and Shravan’s playbook, every eight year old in America that starts a business today could graduate high school with ten years of business experience. How powerful is that?!
Meet a few young black entrepreneurs:
About Our Guest Blogger
Aisha DaCosta is the Executive Director and Founder of I Am O’Kah! Inc., a nonprofit that teaches children entrepreneurship and financial literacy. She is a fourteen-year Air Force veteran that has devoted her life’s work to building stronger communities and the empowerment of our youth. Learn more about Aisha and her organization I Am O’Kah! by visiting www.iamokah.org.