Early Entrepeneurs Experiment
This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
BC Ideas: Solutions for Stronger Communities competition.
We are teaching kids to be social entrepreneurs - changing the world through their own mini businesses.
About Your Organization
Destroy Normal Consulting
Canada, BC, Victoria
Country where this solution is creating social impact
Canada, XX, Multiple cities and provinces and countries
Region in BC where your solution creates social impact
Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Thompson Okanagan.
Is your organization a
How long has your organization been operating?
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Scaling (the next step will be growing impact on a regional or even global scale)
How long have you been in operation?
Operating for 1‐5 years
Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your solution addresses? Choose up to two
The Need: Describe the need for your solution and the size and characteristics of the community(ies) your solution is engaging
The school system is archaic and is preparing children for jobs that likely won't even exist by the time they are done school. Kids are also taught very little about finances, and thus most people coming out of school are left feeling unconfident in one of the most important areas of adult life. Lastly, there is a huge separation between business and charitable work in our society, we need to start teaching our children how business can benefit the world if we want to build a sustainable future.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
We address those 3 issues directly by 1) teaching children to think like entrepreneurs 2) by showing them how a business and finances work 3) by weaving a deep charitable component in with the entire process. They learn to brainstorm, to identify business ideas that will work in their culture and city, to choose their target market and ensure that it is big enough to sustain a business, to handle money and use it (invest it) to make more money. And lastly, throughout the process, they learn about a developing country, and why the money they are making will be going to projects in that country, and who their business will be impacting, on the other side of the world.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include the primary activities involved in your solution.
We give $100 of start up capital to elementary school children and give them a goal of turning that $100 into $500 through their own mini-businesses. They brainstorm ideas and their target market ex: Teacher: "If we decide to import bracelets from Kenya that will support local businesses there, who will buy them here? Name one person". Child: "My aunt Sally would buy one". Teacher: "Great! Now, if we want to sell more than one bracelet, what do we need to do?". Kid: "Find more people like aunt Sally!". And it goes on from there defining where to find more "Aunt Sally's" (women 35-45 etc). Form there we teach them about the start up capital they have, how many bracelets they would need to sell to make the $500 while paying back the start up capital, and teach them basic selling techniques so they know how to approach potential purchasers. The kids keep accounting records and have 60 days from start to finish. During this process, they learn about a developing country, Kenya for example, and they learn that if they all turn their $100 into $500 (18 classes for example) that they will be able to fund a school house to be built for kids JUST LIKE THEM on the other side of the world, and why that is so important. It is kids learning to start a successful social enterprise... at the age of 6.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others working to address the same needs as you and indicate what sets you apart from them.
There are many programs teaching kids to think entrepreneurially, but I have not come across any that give solid real world experience by giving the kids enough start up capital to actually make a business. Others give $1 or $5, but that makes kids resort to typical fundraising tactics or just asking for money. We ant kids to think big, and think REAL. What seems to hold most of the other organizations back from giving a solid amount of money is that they don't have a source for it and don't feel that it would come back. So far we have a 100% pay back rate, and many many many people wanting to fund further EEE's. Also, we break business down to incredibly simple principles that any 6-11 year old can learn. This is like KIVA... for our children.
This Entry is about (Issues)
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.
It started as just a test. I gave $100 to 18 elementary school classes, hoping they would turn it into some more (aiming for $9000 total). In 60 days, they started legit businesses and turned that $1800 into over $17,000. They funded 2 school houses in Kenya to be built. These 6-11 year olds felt empowered around finances, around business, and saw how their social enterprises are making life better for hundreds and hundreds of kids in Kenya.
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
I would love for every child to think entrepreneurially. To not think that life and finances just "happen" to them. I want children to be empowered and to learn at as young an age as possible that business can do incredible things for bettering the world. I want to weave business and charitable efforts together so a triple bottom line mentality is the norm, not just a pie in the sky idea.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Classes in Victoria, Duncan, Toronto, California, Florida and more have run EEEs and taught hundreds of kids about entrepreneurship. Multiple schools in the developing world have been funded, and a water project serving hundreds has also been funded. We have etchers in Turkey, Ireland, France, and all over North America wanting to run EEEs in their classes too. It is just a matter of time.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
30,000 children in Canada taking part and learning the entrepreneurial and social impact mentioned previously. $500,000 raised. 50 school houses built in developing countries.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Materials. The materials we have to date are ok, but we need to refine them and hire a consultant to go through them and ensure they are fit for Canada wide curriculums. We want for the teachers to be able to seamlessly integrate the program INTO their classes so it is not an extra curricular activity for them.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Materials completed and reviewed and approved by educational consultant.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Finish materials 100% to be ready to hand over
Work with consultant to prepare materials for all provinces
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Attain 1000 classes to run program
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Finish video and landing page with all info for teachers to be able to make decision
Send that page to all teachers who have signed up and to lists of teachers across the country
Handle any objections and ensure program is a fit for all teachers signed up
Tell us about your partnerships
We have partnered with www.freethechildren.com to build the schools. They also have in roads at many schools in Canada due to their extensive youth programs. We have been speaking with SIFE to determine if there is a fit for SIFE students to help teach the classes during the process. This has not been 100% confirmed.
Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your solution? If so, where and why?
We will start with Canada. The US is an easy transition, but the curriculums are all very different state to state, so we are looking to keep it more as an extra curricular approach for now, but I am sure there will be parallels as this progresses - opening up new opportunities for them to slot it into their curriculum. The other countries, in Europe for example, will take more time, so we are focussed on North America for the next 5 years.
What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
We would like to attain the funding needed to get our materials ideal for Canadian curriculum. Media is of course a wonderful help with spreading the word to gain more teachers and a great reputation.
|125 weeks ago Brian Smith said: Love this idea. Good luck. And, btw the link to your website doesn't work. about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|125 weeks ago Elton Pereira said: You have my vote! Equipping kids with the skills to be entrepreneurial and to give back to kids less fortunate at the same time is ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|125 weeks ago Chantelle Adams said: Amazing how this will empower thousands of kids to really use their talents and gifts in a unique way to really change the world. This ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|125 weeks ago Taylor Conroy said: Cheers Guy - this is going to be BIG. Thanks for the vote - and tell your friends that you think want to empower our kids to be ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|125 weeks ago Taylor Conroy said: Thanks Dane :) Stoked to have you on board. This $15,000 will fund 150 classrooms of kids... that's approx 4500 kids that will learn to ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|125 weeks ago Guy Heywood said: First one that I read - but I can't see how I wouldn't vote for it. Great job! Are there trials being run at any Vancouver area schools? about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|126 weeks ago Dane Low said: This concept it amazing and just what our school system needs. Something that encourages creative thinking and empowers children at a ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >|
|126 weeks ago Early Entrepeneurs Experiment has been chosen as a finalist in BC Ideas: Solutions for Stronger Communities.|
|134 weeks ago Taylor Conroy updated this Competition Entry.|
|134 weeks ago Taylor Conroy submitted this idea.|