With the price of college skyrocketing, student loan debt at an all-time high, and millions of kids graduating and unable to find a job, should parents start thinking of pushing their kids to be entrepreneurs? Think about this, if you are going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars towards education to seek a job, why not invest that same money into guaranteeing a career for yourself that is fulfilling to you and employ those kids that are going to college? Many of today’s entrepreneurs haven’t even gone to college. According to Guidant Financial, about 30% of entrepreneurs only finished high school, 31% have an associate degree, 17% have a bachelor’s degree, 18% obtained a master’s degree, and 4% have a Ph.D. Continued education can help many career paths but isn’t vital for entrepreneurship. The internet has changed the game by providing “How To” videos on YouTube. Kids now have the power to learn about any business they want with the smart device in their hands. That same smart device will even help launch their business without leaving their bedroom. Technology has leveled the playing field for all economic backgrounds.
Perhaps exposing children to your business as a normal state of family affairs could help develop a positive work ethic. After all, the most influential people in our lives are our parents, which makes it more powerful. Entrepreneur skills and behaviors can be taught, defining existing personality traits. It would be best if you exposed your kids directly to what’s happening instead of hiding challenges and setbacks that arise. Not only will you show them what it looks like to think creatively, but their unique input will help. It may be challenging to find age-appropriate ways to involve your children. Significantly young children can benefit from just being near you and feeling as if they are involved. As they get older, the best education you can provide your children entails exposing them to the duties you handle on a daily basis. This will give them life skills their peers won’t encounter for years to come.
What about our inner-city youth in the Lehigh Valley that will never have the same exposure of having an entrepreneur in their immediate family? It used to be that kids from the inner-city got left out of getting an excellent education and great job. These same kids can also secure a career for themselves because they have the same technical resources available. With this being said, why are so many parents still pursuing the American dream of college and a lifetime of debt?
It’s only fair to make positive youth experiences a community affair. Our primary focus at the Valley Wealth Alliance is providing an equal financial playing field by educating, coaching, and connecting our youth to the resources necessary to further their success through our Kidz Mean Business program. This program is broken down into three curriculums which consist of intermediate, moderate, and advanced levels. The intermediate consists of goal setting, money saving, informative field trips, and producing a simple business such as a lemonade stand. The moderate level consists of understanding the banking system, knowing what it takes to run an actual company, and providing guest speakers from the business community to speak about their business endeavors. The advanced level is for kids with a business idea who want to implement it. If you are interested in mentoring, volunteering, or being the change, visit www.valleywealthalliance.org.