My main goal as a parent is to raise well-adjusted, kind and hardworking kids.  Unemployment in South Africa also means we need kids who will push through boundaries, deal with failure and work towards sustainability.

Raising Entrepreneurs

Is there a better way than to teach our kids entrepreneurial skills from a young age?

Logan participated in his first entrepreneurs day at school in last week.  He wanted to sell baby bottles, a theme that has been successfully used repeatedly at his school.  His main aim was to sell all his product and become rich instantly.

I was sceptical and had a whole list of reasons why I thought, we ought to settle for something else…

  1. Finding cheap baby bottles in Pretoria is a nightmare.
  2. How would we keep the startup cost as low as possible to maximise profit?
  3. How would we have an edge over all the other kids who have done it in the past?
  4. What if we charged too much for the bottles and he doesn’t sell all of them?
  5. Change.

Logan persisted with the baby bottles and man, am I glad I gave in.

Logan’s Entrepreneurs Day Idea

Logan ended up selling what we termed as “baby milkshake” – an idea that hadn’t been used by any of the kids!  Many kids have sold baby bottles filled with cold drink or juice or, a bottle of juice with the teat part of a bottle over the top of the bottle.

Market Day at school tomorrow! Q1: Is R15 too much? Q2: How gorgeous is our blue wall?? #boylu

A post shared by Alet Swart (@alet202) on

Flavoured milk proved to be both inexpensive and a great hit with the kids!

What we learned from the experience

Lesson Logan Learned:

Logan learned that although it looks impressive to sell all your product, it doesn’t mean you’ve made a great profit.  The concept of startup cost, selling price and profit, is something he now fully understands.  My exceptionally practical and logic child needed the practical experience and I am super excited to see what he will do with the knowledge in the future.

He also learnt that getting rich instantly is a myth.  We needed to make a whole bunch of calculations to make sure we charge the correct amount.  Logan also had to wash and dry every single bottle, which isn’t the end of the world for most of us, but Logan despises doing dishes.  It involved planning, calculations and hard work.

Lessons I Learned

I learned to trust Logan’s judgement.  He was sure of himself, with reason, or possibly because he could sell ice to an Eskimo in winter.  Regardless, he is a smart little boy with a huge amount of entrepreneurial potential and it is my job as a mom to give him the room to grow and develop the skills.

I wasn’t sure I would see the money I spent on all the bottles and supplies.  But when I fetched him on Friday afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised when he had kept the money he owed me aside.  It will probably seems a silly, but it’s pretty special to see your kid grow up in a responsible and trustworthy manner.

What we will change next year

Logan sold out way too fast on Friday, which was both a blessing and a missed opportunity.  Next year, we will add a refill option.  Once you’ve bought your bottle of milkshake, you will be able to return to his stall and get a milkshake refill at a fraction of the cost.

Another idea we will probably consider, is to add sprinkles and cream as an upsell option.

Logan and I learned to compromise

The statement doesn’t quite carry the weight of the sense of accomplishment I feel in saying those words.  Logan is stubborn and he gets it from me.  Even thought he shot my idea of selling condense milk syringes down and insisted on baby bottles, he listened.  And by the end of the whole entrepreneurs day experience, he could see and agree with my recommendation and respectfully decline the idea for next year as well.

What has been your struggles and successes in teaching your kids entrepreneurial skills?

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