Business idea

Five things to successfully teach kids entrepreneurship (Part 2 of 6)

Business idea

I have a business idea

Helping Kids Choose a Business Idea they can Start
(Part 2 of 6 of the 5 things to successfully teach kids entrepreneurship series)

One thing that we discuss in the More Than a Lemonade Stand™ youth entrepreneur program, before having kids choose a business idea, is what it means to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs not only create businesses, but they have a unique mindset that is just as important.  If kids start thinking like an entrepreneur, they not only can apply it to their own business idea but also to their life in general.

Here are 4 things that are important to discuss when it comes to the entrepreneurial mindset.

  1. Entrepreneurs are resilient and persistent (most entrepreneurs don’t succeed with their first business idea). This article on 10 famous entrepreneurs who failed is a great discussion starting point: https://small-bizsense.com/10-famous-entrepreneurs-who-failed-in-business-before-becoming-successful/
  2. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers (the most successful entrepreneurs solve a problem). This is a great article about entrepreneurs and solving problems. https://www.business.com/articles/are-entrepreneurs-nothing-more-than-problem-solvers/
  3. Entrepreneurs are not only knowledgeable in their specific area but also have business knowledge (at minimum, they need to understand their business model and financial information along with communication of their business idea and how to sell it).
  4. Entrepreneurs are team builders (they know their strengths and weaknesses and build a team to help strengthen their weaknesses).

Now let’s focus on helping kids choose a business idea they can start. Here are 4 steps to help kids choose a business idea that they can start.

  • Explore their interests. What do they like to do in their spare time?  Usually what kids do in their free time is a clue for what they have a passion for. Starting and running a business is not easy so it’s best they choose something they like to do since they are more apt to stick with it.
  • Look at what things they have experience with. If they are naturally good at something and have built up some expertise, they’ll find it easier to create a business around it. This could be anything from making jewelry, mowing lawns, painting, taking pictures or videos, a school subject, music or sports.
  • Explore how they can turn their interest and or knowledge into a solution (remember, entrepreneurs are problem-solvers). For example, if they are good in a school subject, they could help tutor kids. They could teach a sport, create a product to solve a problem, or help take care of kids so parents can get things done.
  • Once they have a business idea, they need to think about how are they going to make money from it. Have them ask potential customers if they are already have a current solution to the problem and if so, what it is and what do they like and dislike about it. If they don’t have a solution ask the potential customers if they would pay for a solution. That will help the entrepreneur come up with some ideas of how they can sell against their competition and if their idea is feasible.

Part 3 in the series will focus on creating a feasible business model and how creating a Business Model Canvas for their idea can help them do that.

Julie Ann Wood has been an entrepreneur since she was a kid and shares her passion by working with young entrepreneurs to create their own businesses along with organizations and schools to implement youth entrepreneur programs.  In addition to running her own company, E-seedling, LLC, she is the Youth Entrepreneur Camp director for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Small Business Development Center and is the author of the More Than a Lemonade Stand™, the You’re Never Too Young to Start a Business e-book the creator of the Biz Ops Game™. To learn more about the curriculum, games and youth entrepreneur programs and seminars visit: www.eseedling.com .

Teaching Kids Entrepreneurship

5 things to start with when teaching kids entrepreneurship (Part 1 of 6)

Teaching Kids EntrepreneurshipI often get asked, what should I start with when teaching kids entrepreneurship? After teaching kids, ages 9-14, entrepreneurship over the past 10 years I’ve come up with five things that have proven to be successful. I use these 5 things in the More Than a Lemonade Stand™ curriculum and have developed hundreds of young entrepreneurs using it and I hope you find this helpful in teaching entrepreneurship.  This post is meant to be an overview of the five things (part 1 of 6). In the upcoming weeks, I will dive into more detail of the how of each item.

1. Help kids choose a business idea

The best way to learn about entrepreneurship is by running a business and most entrepreneurs don’t strike it rich on their first business venture so it’s better to learn before the stakes are high. Since starting and running a business is not easy, it’s best the kids choose an idea that they are interested in and have some experience in.  This could be anything from making jewelry, lawn care, painting, photography, a school subject, music or sports. Once they know what they are interested in and have some knowledge of, they need to think about how they can turn that into something that can make money with (i.e., tutoring, helping kids with basic sports or music, babysitting, or selling a product at a local craft show or to kids at school). Post 2 of 6 will focus on the how to introduce entrepreneurship and help kids choose a business idea they can work on.

“Most entrepreneurs don’t strike it rich on their first business venture so it’s better to learn before the stakes are high.”  ~Julie Ann Wood

2. Create a feasible business model

Once the idea is chosen, the next thing to look at is the business model to see if it is a feasible business idea. The Business Model Canvas, created by Alexander Osterwalder, is an excellent tool to help kids (and adults) discover this. The Business Model Canvas is widely used by entrepreneurs as part of the lean startup methodology. The Business Model Canvas will help kids determine what problem they are solving, who their customers are, how they will run the business and how they will make money. The Strategyzer website has a free 2-minute video which explains the nine building blocks that the canvas is built on which you can view on their website at:  https://strategyzer.com/canvas/business-model-canvas .  Post 3 of 6 will focus on a fun and engaging way to teach the business model canvas to young entrepreneurs.

3. Teach business basics

Once the idea is chosen and the business model is created it’s time to learn the business fundamentals which will serve the young entrepreneurs no matter what business idea they pursue now or in the future. In our programs we include branding, marketing, sales, basic financials, customer service and production. Each of these areas are necessary to go from the idea stage to the actual starting and running of the business. Presentation skills are also included since the kids are required to create e a poster presentation/pitch for their business. After all, if the entrepreneur can’t communicate the idea effectively it will be impossible for them to succeed. Post 4 of 6 will focus on a method to teach the business fundamentals to young entrepreneurs.

4. Learn from real entrepreneurs

All entrepreneurs have a story and have made mistakes. I have found entrepreneurs to be quite excited to share their stories (and mistakes) with young entrepreneurs. Their stories provide insight to the kids that they may not get from just learning the content. Instead of learning the hard way, they can learn some valuable lessons from entrepreneurs who have already learned the hard way. That is why field trips and guest speakers from a variety of entrepreneurs and business types are a great way for young entrepreneurs to learn. Be sure to include discussion about the entrepreneurs’ stories including what they noticed about their characteristics and mindset. Post 5 of 6 will focus on ways in which you can include entrepreneurs and a fun and engaging reflection activity to use.

“The best way to learn about running a business is to run a business!” ~Julie Ann Wood

5. Real Life Experience

As I mentioned in the 1st item, the best way to learn about running a business is to run a business!  That is why, in addition to the kids starting their own business, these two additional experiential activities that involve running a business will allow the kids to run a business in a ‘safe’ setting.

The first one is a fast paced simulation called the Biz Ops Game™ which teaches business operations in approximately 90 minutes. In this game, kids, in small teams of 4-5 each, run their own paper airplane business. Each team comes up with a business name, starts with a loan from the bank (that they have to pay back with interest) budget and plan for their expenses and raw materials, design, make & test their paper airplanes, fly them on a duct tape runway as they sell them to customer, track their actual sales and expenses and create a mini-income statement.  The game is played in 5 rounds so teams can improve their process and design as the game progresses.

The second one is a real Lemonade stand business.  Depending on how many kids are in the program, this can be done as a single team lemonade stand or a multiple team lemonade stand competition. The kids run a real-life lemonade stand in which they raise funds for a cause such as a scholarship fund for the youth entrepreneur program. They must come up with a name, theme, branding, marketing, what they are selling, define the roles and everything needed to create a successful lemonade stand operation.  Post 6 of 6 will focus more deeply on how these 2 real life business experiences can be used in a youth entrepreneurship program.

These 5 things are included in the More Than a Lemonade™ youth entrepreneurship curriculum and have proven successful in teaching young entrepreneurs. Julie Ann Wood has been working with young entrepreneurs for more than 10 years and is the author of the More Than a Lemonade Stand™ book, You’re Never Too Young to Start a Business e-book and the creator of the Biz Ops Game™. To learn more about the curriculum, programs and how to work with Julie visit: www.eseedling.com .

Lemonade Stands Really Do Make a Difference

Did you know that kids all over the world start and run lemonade stands to raise money for something they believe in?

I’m sure you have read articles or have seen news stories of young entrepreneurs running lemonade stands for the recent hurricane and earthquake victims but I bet you didn’t know that kids are running lemonade stands every week to make a difference.  You are probably questioning how I can I possibly know this? Since I started E-seedling to cultivate tomorrow’s entrepreneurs in 2015 (you can learn more about the e-seedling story at www.eseedling.com), one of my daily Google Alerts is set up for lemonade stands. I created and started using a lemonade stand team competition activity in 2008 for the youth entrepreneur camp I direct and run for middle school students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  It has become the favorite activity in the camp and the learning was tremendous that I quickly realized the power a lemonade stand and become hooked (Check out my book More Than a Lemonade Stand for more information on the activity and the camp).

“Every day I see what kids are doing to help others and make a difference via lemonade stands.”

At first, I posted one a week on my More Than a Lemonade Stand Facebook page but quickly realized it was very hard to pick just one.  So it dawned on me that featuring the concept as a whole, some of the organizations that focus on utilizing lemonade stands as a model for learning and making a difference and some of the unique ways kids have used them to make a difference would be a good way to support lemonade stands and young entrepreneurs.

3 Organizations that use Lemonade Stands to Make a Difference:

  • Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer is a non-profit organization founded by Alex Scott and her family. Alex was diagnosed at age 1 with cancer and at age 4 announced she wanted to start a lemonade stand to raise funds for the doctors and the hospital that were helping her with her cancer so they could help other kids too.  By age 8 in 2004, when she passed, she had raised $2,000 for her hospital.  The foundation is her legacy and has continued with the help of her family to raise money for childhood cancer. Their website https://www.alexslemonade.org/ states that they have raised more than $150 million funding over 800 pediatric cancer research projects nationally.
  • Lemonade Day was founded in Houston, Texas in 2007 by Michael Holthouse, a successful entrepreneur. It has grown from 2,700 kids in Houston to over 1 million children in North America. Lemonade Day has a series of lessons that teach kids how to start and run a business which culminates in the running a lemonade stand in their community on lemonade day. The program promotes and inspires kids to work hard, make a profit, spend some, save some and share some by giving back to their community. You can learn more at: https://lemonadeday.org/
  • At the heart of the E-seedling youth entrepreneur experiential curriculum is the lemonade stand team competition to raise money for the program’s scholarship fund. Starting in 2015, The More Than a Lemonade Stand curriculum teaches young entrepreneurs ages 10 and up how to choose a business idea, start their own business, learn business basics and run a real business (the lemonade stand). It does this through hands-on experiential learning including games, guest entrepreneurs, field trips, presentations and the lemonade stand team competition. The curriculum is currently used by 30 schools and organizations worldwide. You can learn more at http://eseedling.com/

 

Some of the causes that kids are running lemonade stands for:

-Hurricane Victims
-Earthquake Victims
-Cancer Victims & Research
-Classmate’s School Lunch Debt
-Diabetes Research
-Nonprofit Organizations in their area
-Friends and families in their area dealing with a crisis
-Toys for kids whose families can’t afford them

I think the greatest thing about Lemonade Stands is that it is a simple way for kids to have fun, learn something and make a difference all at the same time.  Kids really want to make a difference and almost everyone has been affected to some degree by the causes above. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon then to start a lemonade stand!

Julie Ann Wood has been teaching young entrepreneurs for the past 10 years by using experiential learning activities including the More Than  a Lemonade Stand curriculum to teach entrepreneurship and life skills, the Biz Ops Game to teach business operations and the Team Lemonade Stand to teach collaboration, teamwork, creativity, and business. For more information visit www.eseedling.com

youth Entrepreneur Camp Eseedling

Youth Entrepreneur Camps – A Fun Way to Learn about Business

youth Entrepreneur Camp Eseedling

More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camp

“Just because you’re a kid doesn’t mean you can’t start a business”. That was what Sophia (a youth entrepreneur camper) said to me last summer. And the best part is she was right! It is amazing the ideas that kids come up with during camp. Sometimes they come with something they have been working on and sometimes they think of something at camp. I have seen everything from lawn mowing, tutoring, pet sitting, creating t-shirts, teaching music, creating operating systems, and developing apps. One trend that I’ve seen in the past few years is an increase in creating social enterprises (a company that gives back and helps others).

In the one week youth entrepreneur camp kids ages 9 and up (there’s two separate age groups) come up with their own business idea (based on their strengths and interests) and learn business basics such as marketing, financials, customer service, and branding. They play the biz ops game™ (a game based learning experience where small teams of 4-5 run a paper airplane business) to learn about business operations, create, market and run a real lemonade stand business (to raise funds for the camp scholarship fund), learn from experienced entrepreneurs, present their business ideas to their peers and create a poster to present their business to friends and families. They leave the camp with the tools and knowledge they need to start their business.
How did it all get started? I would like to think of it as fate! I was a very entrepreneurial kid (the e-seedling story is on our website http://www.eseedling.com) with entrepreneurial parents and I realized how much fun it was (even though I had many failures) and the freedom that it allowed (we took many family trips). Even though I went into teaching and what I call the “work world”, I longed for the freedom of being an entrepreneur.
When I was 27, I started a business with a partner and realized that I had no clue on how to run a “real” business. I learned more in the next 3 years, then probably anytime in my entire career. The business was purchased by a regional firm where I again found myself as an employee. Years later, I was fortunate enough to get a job at the UW-Madison Small Business Development Center which held a youth entrepreneur camp. In 2008, when the economy suffered, the camp was in jeopardy of being cancelled. I proposed to rewrite the curriculum so that we could teach it in-house. It has become very successful and each year it fills earlier. Since there is a huge need, and the SBDC doesn’t have the resources to hold more camps, I decided to again become an entrepreneur and start E-seedling to run camps and help others to do the empower kids through entrepreneurship. I agree with Sophia, that you’re never too young to start a business, you just need the opportunity and the knowledge of how.

Our Youth Entrepreneur camp was featured in the May blog post of Teaching Today WI – This is a reprint of that Blog post 

July youth entrepreneur camps are open for registration (week of July 10 for ages 10-12 and week of July 17 for ages 13-14). For more information visit eseedling.com 

I have an Aspiring Entrepreneur – now what?

You have an aspiring entrepreneur in your house or classroom; the one setting up a lemonade stand and sitting out in the front yard until dark or the one that is making bracelets and selling them to their friends at school or the one that is always asking their neighbors if they can take care of their pets.  So how do you keep that entrepreneurial fire burning?  Here are some tips on how to get started!

  1. Choose a business idea. If they haven’t chosen a specific business idea, they should chose and commit to one. You can’t start learning about how to start and run a business until you actually do it. If they need inspiration help them think about their interests, what they’ve learned and what they like to do in their spare time.
  2. Determine the goal. Once they come up with an idea, have them come up with a goal. Is it just to have fun? Is it to earn money for something they want to buy? Is it to learn more about business and finances?  Whatever it is, have them write it down and be specific.  The more specific it is, the more likely they are to accomplish it.
  3. Create a plan. Once they have their idea and a goal, they need a plan on how to get there. They will need action steps to take to achieve their goal. These can be such things as how many people do I need to contact, how many products do I need to make, etc.
  4. What is the budget. They will need items to start-up their business and make their product or provide their service. Do they have money already saved up or will they need to borrow money from you? Have them put together a list of what they need and the costs so they can figure out how to get the money they need.
  5. Legal Stuff. They already have your approval but before putting it into action, you may need to check if any legal permits are needed. Each state, city & town has their own rules so it is always a good idea to check and see what is required. There may be free or reduced legal resources at your local business center or university or college so you might want to check on that.
  6. Just Do It! Most entrepreneurs learn while running their business and since entrepreneurship is about taking action, there is no better way. Be sure to keep track of your expenses, sales and what is working and not working. That way you can keep doing what works and make changes as needed.

Being an entrepreneur is a rewarding experience and I can’t think of a more fun way to learn and earn money during the summer!

Want more resources to help your aspiring entrepreneur? Here are a few to check out:

LINK to Amazon, You’re Never too Young to Start a Business e-book (with downloadable worksheets)

LINK to YouTube Mini-Lesson Monday’s for Young Entrepreneurs

LINK to more Information on Summer Youth Entrepreneur Camps in Madison, WI

If you would like to know more about how to bring youth entrepreneurship to your area contact Julie Wood at juliewood@eseedling.com or visit eseedling.com 

youth Entrepreneur Camp Eseedling

Make Memories at Camp This Summer!

youth Entrepreneur Camp Eseedling

More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camp

Did you love camp when you were a kid? (I sure did!).

I loved staying in a tent or cabin, slurping slushies, singing fun songs, making s’mores around the campfire and learning all kinds of new things by experiencing them first hand.  I loved it so much I became a 4-H camp counselor when I was a teen and then spent many hours volunteering at Scout Camps as an adult. Now, I am so fortunate that I get to direct and teach youth entrepreneur camps each summer.

Camps are a great way for kids to experience and learn things they may not have the opportunity to in school.

Entrepreneurship is a prime example of this. The great thing about an entrepreneurship camp is that kids not only learn about business; they get to learn about their own passions and talents and how they can make a difference in the world. Many kids who don’t do well sitting at a desk all day, thrive in a camp environment. It increases their self-confidence and they actually get excited about learning.

In the More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camps kids come up with a business idea that they work on all week and can actually implement once they leave the camp. They learn business operations, teamwork and collaboration by playing the Biz Ops Game™, they run a real lemonade stand business to raise funds for the camp scholarship fund and they give business presentations.  The week is packed with experiential learning activities in a fun environment.

Many kids say that “it was so fun that I didn’t even feel like I was learning”.

This excerpt from the American Camp Association Website expresses the benefits of camp:

At camp, when children make new friends, explore the world around them, and learn that “I can” is much more powerful than “I can’t”, magic happens. In an environment created just for them, children learn real life skills, develop self-esteem, and gain a sense of independence and community. Whether children are playing, exploring nature, conquering new heights, or becoming part of a camp family, they are creating memories that will last a lifetime – See more at: http://www.acacamps.org/campers-families/because-camp#sthash.44KAY3o4.dpuf

It’s never too early to starting looking for camps in your area (I’m amazed that many camps are nearly full by May 1st).

There are camps of every subject possible so there is bound to be something that your kids are interested in. (The American Camp Association website is one place you can check for camps in your area www.acacamps.org).

What I really like about Youth Entrepreneur Camps is that the camper chooses their own business idea based on their unique strengths, interests and talents so it fits everyone!

To Check out the More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camps in Madison, WI this summer CLICK HERE.

Don’t have a Youth Entrepreneur Camp in your area – contact juliewood@eseedling.com to see how you can get one going!

7 Steps to Get Your Kids Started as a Young Entrepreneur

                      

Parents with kids

Parents with kids

                                                                                                                                                 1. Choose a business idea. Kids can’t start learning about how to start a business if they don’t have an idea. Have them think about their hobbies, interests, what they’ve learned, what they have experience in, what they’re good at what they like to do in your spare time and then choose one or two ideas to move forward with.

2. Test your idea with potential customers. Entrepreneurs take risks but they can limit how much risk they take by testing their ideas. Have them ask potential customers, and friends and family questions about their ideas. They can start with whether or not it is a good solution to the problem they are solving and would they pay money for it. Then be sure to narrow it down to one idea to work on.

3. Create a memorable brand and plan marketing & sales activities. A brand is what a prospect or customer thinks of or feels when they hear the business name or see their logo, marketing materials or store. Once they create their brand they need to plan how to get the word out. This will be determined by budget where customers are located.

4. List what is needed to start the business and figure out the costs. Start-Up Items are the items needed to start a business. Some examples of start-up items include office supplies and equipment, website, and tools to make the product or provide the service.  Then they will then need to figure out a price for the product or service based on costs, competition and earlier testing of the idea to potential customers.

5. Keep Customers Happy. Once there are customers, they need to make sure they keep them happy! The cost to get a new customer is much higher than selling to an existing customer. Happy customers will be the best resource for getting new customers. Have them make a plan for staying in contact with their customers and making sure they are happy.

6. Parent Approval and Legal Stuff. If you aren’t the parent reading this, make sure they check with their parents to make sure that the business idea is okay to put into action. Also check to see if any legal permits are needed. Each state, city & town has their own rules so it is always a good idea to check and see what is required. There may be free or reduced legal resources at your local business center or university or college so you might want to check on that.

7. Create a Plan. Now that the business idea figured out, have them create a plan that will guide them. A marketing plan for how they are going to get the word out and an operational plan for business activities. The two plans will work together to help them schedule their time and resources.

These 7 steps will give kids a great start for getting their business going. If you would like to order a complete Step-by-Step guide including free downloadable worksheets. My e-book You’re Never Too Young to Start a Business is available on Amazon.com. CLICK HERE to ORDER If you would like more information on cultivating young entrepreneurs, visit eseedling.com and sign up for our email list for additional tips, discounts and announcements.

Bio: Julie Ann Wood is the author of More Than a Lemonade Stand and Creator of the Biz Ops Game™. She has been teaching young entrepreneurs since 2008 and created the More Than a Lemonade Stand curriculum for young entrepreneurs to help others teach youth entrepreneurship without reinventing the wheel!

Girl Looking at Goldfish

What do Mini-Lessons & Goldfish Have in Common?

Girl Looking at Goldfish

Girl Looking at Goldfish

Mini-Lesson Mondays for Young Entrepreneurs – Are they the wave of the future?

You may have heard that the focus of a human being has been compared to that of a goldfish.

In a recent article by a colleague of mine, Jenna Atkinson, in our local business magazine (In Business Magazine) quoted that  Time magazine published an article called, “You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish.” It reported on how an increasingly digital lifestyle has reduced the average person’s attention span from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds in 2015.

The average attention span of a goldfish? Nine seconds. Scary right?! 

Then a few months ago, I read an article in HR magazine about how micro-learning is becoming more popular.  The article discusses a company that uses 4 minute videos to teach concepts and the employees can come back and view them as needed.

And then I began to think about my own attention span – I am currently taking an Internet Marketing course that is broken down into small segments of reading and video.  Each lesson’s content is no longer than a few minutes.  In addition to short quizzes, they give you an assignment based on the content you just learned so you can apply it. I really like this type of learning, I can fit it in when I have a few minutes and can come back to it when I need it.

That is why I decided to create Mini-Lessons for Young Entrepreneurs.  Each Monday, I post a short video on my YouTube channel with a new mini-lesson that will help young entrepreneurs come up with a business idea, business name and help them get it up and running.  The videos are short with the majority of them being less than 3 minutes long and each one gives a short assignment to write in their ‘entrepreneur notebook’. If you haven’t checked it out yet, Click HERE for the Mini-Lesson Monday for Young Entrepreneurs Playlist.

I would love to hear what topics you are interested in for Mini-Lesson Monday so please share your ideas by commenting below or emailing me at juliewood@eseedling.com

Have you signed your kids up for camp?

CampsCamp is one my favorite memories from when I was a kid.  I loved staying in a tent or cabin, slurping slushies, singing fun songs around the campfire and learning all kinds of new things by experiencing them first hand.  I loved it so much I became a 4-H camp counselor at age 16, volunteered many times at my sons’ Boy Scout camps and now I am so fortunate to direct and teach youth entrepreneur camps.

Camps are a great way for kids to experience and learn things they may not have the opportunity to in school.  What is interesting to me is that the kids who may not do well in school (sitting at a desk all day) flourish in a camp environment.  Year after year, I see kids come in on Monday morning not showing much self-confidence and by Friday when they are presenting an idea they are passionate about they are glowing with confidence. 

The following is from the American Camp Association Website which pretty much sums up the benefits of camp:

At camp, when children make new friends, explore the world around them, and learn that “I can” is much more powerful than “I can’t”, magic happens. In an environment created just for them, children learn real life skills, develop self-esteem, and gain a sense of independence and community. Whether children are playing, exploring nature, conquering new heights, or becoming part of a camp family, they are creating memories that will last a lifetime – See more at: http://www.acacamps.org/campers-families/because-camp#sthash.44KAY3o4.dpuf

Since school is either out or soon to be out, it’s time to find a camp for your child(ren).  There are camps of every subject possible so there is bound to be something that they are interested in.  Many camps are already full but with some searching you will most likely find something that fits.  That’s what I really like about directing and teaching at Youth Entrepreneur Camps; the business each camper chooses to create takes into account their strengths, interests and talents so it fits everyone!

Since the UW-Madison SBDC Youth Entrepreneur Camp (where I have been the director for the past 8 years) is full and there is a long wait list, I have decided to add an E-Seedling Youth Entrepreneur Camp July 18-21 in Madison.  It is a 4 day (Mon-Thurs) commuter day camp for ages 10-14 (there will be breakouts based on age groups).  It is limited to 16 kids (8:1 instructor ratio) so register now before it’s full!  To find out more about the camp and to register, Click here!

Hope this is the year to start making memories and having fun at summer camp!

Entrepreneur Theatre Life Skills

5 Life Skills that Entrepreneurship and Theater Teach

Entrepreneur Theatre Life Skills

Entrepreneur & Theater = Life Skills

Last week I finished directing a production of Fame Jr with my son Ryan at our local community theater group. As I reflect back on the experience, I realize that both entrepreneurship and theater have a lot in common  when it comes to the life skills they teach.  Here are 5 life skills, that I came up with, that both entrepreneurship and theater teach.

  1. Passion and Natural Talents: Entrepreneurship is all about finding what you love to do and using it to solve problems and make a difference. Musical Theater kids have a passion for acting, dancing, singing or all 3 and they are using their natural talent to make a difference in people’s lives by taking their minds off of the everyday issues even if it is only for an hour or two.
  2. Time Management: Running a business takes an enormous amount of time and it requires good time management skills to make sure homework & chores are done, other commitments are completed and that there is still time to work on a business. Ditto for theater; it is a huge time commitment and it requires time management to get it all done.
  3. Commitment: Being an entrepreneur requires commitment to working on your business idea even when it gets tough. A commitment to your solution or cause will help you make it through but in order for it to work in the long run; you must be committed to it. Again theater is a commitment, it takes a lot of hours to put on a quality production. There is always waiting at rehearsal for your scene; you must be committed to the role you accept.
  4. Communication: Entrepreneurs must be able to communicate clearly what their product or service is and what the benefits are in order to sell to their customer. You must also be able to communicate with partners and mentors so they can help you grow your business. Whether you are on stage in the cast or off stage in the production staff, you must be able to communicate with the audience to get your message across and with each other to create a successful performance.
  5. Teamwork: Entrepreneurs cannot do it alone; they need to use their strengths in the most effective ways in order to grow their business without being overwhelmed by everything that has to be done. You need to find a team that can fill in where you aren’t strong to help you accomplish what needs to be done. A good theater performance is the ultimate team-based business model. It requires each person to know their role, focus on it and complete it when it needs to be done. There is a high level of trust that develops in a theater group and it becomes almost like a second family.

I am sure there are more life skills that both entrepreneurship and theater teach and so I would love to hear from you in the comments (or you can email me at juliewood@eseedling.com): Which life skills do you feel are taught in entrepreneurship and theater or another activity that you are involved with?

As always, please feel free to contact me at juliewood@eseedling.com or complete the contact us form on www.eseedling.com .  And as we say in theater, hope to see you at the next auditions!