In our economy, it is so important to have business ownership skills in addition to being employable. Everyone knows, you need a job and a “hustle” to make it today. We want our little scholars to be likewise prepared. Your scholar can start a business as early as you feel comfortable. Even a 5 year old can sell lemonade, candy, or a handcrafted item. But, how do you move beyond the cute idea phase and into a structured and profitable business that can strengthen long-term entrepreneurial skills?
The first step to a sustainable venture is to instill real skills. The Small Business Association (SBA) offers free online courses to accomplish this goal. One such offering is Young Entrepreneur, a 45 minute self paced course that covers the following topics.
• Developing a business idea
• Conducting market research
• Running an online business
• Working from home
• Developing a business plan
• Understanding finance options
• Identifying business structures
• Summarizing business registration
• Finding entrepreneurial support resources
After your scholar has completed this course or a similar one, it is time to decide on a business idea. Kris Solie-Johnson has written an excellent free e-book on the topic, 101+ Business Ideas for Kids. Teenagers have even more options open to them such as adding their own flair to thrift store clothing and reselling it or managing social media for the technologically challenged. Forbes advises that you invest in your child starting a business aligned with his or her passions. Also, do not forget about Uncle Sam! See this great Forbes article for more information about the legalities of young entrepreneurship.
This semester, my son started a business selling gourmet hand-dipped popcorn that we ordered from a local company, Deanan. Deanan’s Popcorn is also great for fundraisers. We are using the funds to assist with homeschool related costs and build up a small co-op that we have started in our area. He feels proud that he can contribute to his own education.
Have a great time leaping into new territories with your little ones. Please let me know how it turns out!
Best to You and Yours,
For those with high school age children, please take advantage of this free online Computer Programming Course from Purdue University. The letter that I received is copied below. All the best to you and yours!–
**FREE PROGRAMMING COURSE**I am writing to announce to you a free, online, non-credit class that may be interesting and beneficial to high-school homeschooled students.
I am a visiting assistant professor in the Computer Science department of Purdue University, West Lafayette. This year, I am teaching a course that we offer for the very first time and has some unique characteristics:
- It is for high school students
- It is completely free
- It is self-paced
- It allows an interested student to develop significant programming skills
- It allows a student to explore computer programming without any commitment (other than the effort that the student will choose to put into the class)
The course started on August 25th and lasts until May. Since it is a self-paced course, a student can enroll practically any time. Our public announcement is here:
I haven’t had any homeschooled high-school students contact me yet and I thought that the announcement may have not reached them. I would very much appreciate it, if you could circulate this information to any appropriate community. I believe this course fits very well the way a homeschooler typically approaches learning and I would be delighted to work with such interested students.
Debbie Perouli, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Computer Science, Purdue University