We wisdom: Support Kidpreneurs
|By Anabelle Craig - Columnist | October 5 2017|
“Build your business around passion because there is no sense running a business you don’t enjoy.”
These wise words come from Erik Morrison from Wilberforce who owns Erikord Survival. The company makes paracord survival bracelets. Erik started his business at age 10 and his story is an example of how a kid can be a successful entrepreneur with just a little help and a lot of drive.
Nearly two years ago, I wrote a column about children whose parents own small businesses. I talked to these kids about what it’s like to be living with parents who are their own boss. The ins and outs of running your own company, setting your own hours and learning how to make it all work. Well, in this article, I switch from the parents owning the shop to the kids. I re-interviewed these youth and a few new ones, to see what it is that drives them to be their own boss.
These companies are an interesting range: lemonade stand, car wash, dog walking and petting, babysitting, jewelry-making, face-painting, cutting grass and yard work, tutoring, soapmaking, acting and modelling.
We all need a bit of help and running a kid’s company requires a helping hand from the adults in your life. From start to finish, you need their support and their deep pockets. The loan in the beginning to purchase your materials and get things rolling is a necessity. Once you have your prototypes and posters ready, you need help advertising and getting to and from your new job, be it a ride to babysitting or into town to pick up more supplies. Parents and adults will be your number one fans and customers. I have appreciated all the adults in my life for their support and encouragement, even when they didn’t need yet another elastic snake or that time I washed an adult friend’s car with a wire scrubby and I still got paid with a smile.
After chatting with CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency), I learned that there is no age limit on being a kidpreneur. You can start your business when you’re six or when you’re 16. Did you know that buying from a kidpreneur is good for your wallet? Kids do not have to charge HST unless they make over $30,000 annually. That means that there are no surprise numbers sneaking up on you and you don’t have to fart around with finding the correct change. There are also grants for youth between 15-29 from our provincial government, ontario.ca/page/ start-summercompany-students
Tips for other kids:
Owning a business as a child/ teen is a great way to learn about entrepreneurialism, customer service, money management and it’s also a lot of fun. Every company I have ever started had two things in common. I loved doing whatever I chose and I wanted to make a few bucks.
Making sure you have your required materials and you have tested your product before you start selling is advice many kids gave me when I interviewed them. Advertising on Facebook and Instagram is a great way to get your name out there without spending a dime.
||Annabelle Craig is a columnist with The Highlander.|