Entrepreneurial skills are vital for the future of our youth’s employment and economy, with unemployment among young South Africans at a whopping 55% and our education system unable to offer a sure path to employment.
The good news is that parents and caregivers can teach kids to be entrepreneurial. As a parent, you play a vital role in shaping your child for their future. With jobs becoming scarcer, it is essential that young people are equipped with how to create employment options for themselves.
Cate Williams, senior brand manager from Retail Capital, shares her top tips to teach your kids to be entrepreneurial.
Entrepreneurial tip one: Setting goals
Goals are an integral part to the entrepreneurial success and the sooner a child learns how to set a realistic goal, plan and follow through in implementation, the better.
Engaging kids in goal-setting can be as simple as asking them to write down their top 10 goals, and to then choose one that will have the most impact on their life. Next, encourage them to create mini-goals or steps that will help them accomplish the goals, and get them going on their tasks straight away. This will impact the child’s self-worth, self-drive and sense of achievement.
Entrepreneurial tip two: Understand the money
Kids are known for not understanding the value of money. One of Cate’s tips to teach your kids to be entrepreneurial is to help them understand finances from an early age.
The most effective way to develop financial skills is to give them incentives to save. Parents can also empower them to pay at the till point by giving them cash to give to the cashier. Or older children can be given the responsibility of going into a shop to buy a few items, and manage the payment too.
Giving a child tasks to do at home, in return for a small pay, also works wonders as they will learn the value of money by having to work for it.
Entrepreneurial tip three: Selling ice to an Eskimo
Get the kids involved in selling early on. From selling goods and services, to raising capital from investors, this is a lifelong skill.
Work with them to sell their old toys or clothes on Gumtree in return for a small profit. Or help them bake homemade treats to sell at school. Whatever the product, get them to decide on a price, sell to the customer – whether on or offline – and let them manage the transaction from start to finish. This will not only give them confidence in their abilities, but will double up in teaching them about money.
Entrepreneurial tip four: Have a real conversation
Children and adults alike are losing the ability to talk to each other thanks to social media and text messaging. Correct this at home. Teach kids how to be confident in their communication whether in person or on the phone. Tell them to speak boldly, slowly and to articulate their points convincingly, and encourage situations in which your child needs to speak to others.
Teaching children to talk properly will put them in good stead in business and in their personal relationships, especially as the art of conversation is being lost thanks to the impact of technology.
Entrepreneurial tip five: There is no “I” in team
Being able to work in a team is a critical skill that needs to be encouraged from a young age. No-one is entirely self-sufficient, so learning how to engage with and even rely on others is an important strategy to assimilate.
Successful entrepreneurs are renowned for delegating tasks – Sir Richard Branson is a case in point – so encouraging kids to play with others with a view to reach a common goal is good practice.
Playing sport is an effective way to teach teamwork too, as it allows players to deal with successes and losses. Allowing kids to fail will help them create new ways to accomplish their goals and learn from their mistakes.
You can also read more about local entrepreneurs who have achieved success here:
- This dad used his last R800 to start a booming business
- SA program aims to equip kids for the future by helping them think like entrepreneurs
- From waiter to entrepreneur thanks to his unique product