What did you want to be when you grew up? A fireman? A ballerina? A doctor? A teacher? I wanted to be the boss of Qantas so I could wear high heels, carry a briefcase and spend my time flying around the world. My family and teachers said I’d grow out of it. I did.
But some kids know they’re destined for business. Those kids whose natural instinct is to use their initiative and turn an idea into their day job? How can we foster their potential?
While researching an article about entrepreneurship in children, I interviewed Creel Price. Price always knew he was going to be a businessman. He remembers childhood nights spent “sitting up in bed conjuring up his next business venture”. Now, with kids of his own he’s regarded as one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Price grew up in the country and his first business, at age 11, was selling strawberries from his parent’s farm. “New business ideas are encouraged on the land and people tend to be fairly innovative,” he said.
At 25, Price’s started Blueprint Management Group with an initial investment of $5,000. Within a decade the outsourcing company had grown to over 1,000 employees before Price sold it for over $100 million.
Since 2007 Price has used his experience to mentor budding entrepreneurs. In 2010 he extended his support to creative, primary-school-aged kids by setting up an after-school-program, Club Kidpreneur. Led by entrepreneurs who volunteer their time, the program was set up to “try and put [entrepreneurship] on the agenda as a career path and to let kids experiment with business,” he said.
Twelve year-old Poppy Olsen completed the program. An avid artist with a penchant for drawing, Poppy set out to illustrate greeting cards and then, with the help of her mum, packaged and sell them with other students at the Bondi and Carriageworks markets.
Poppy says that deciding on her business idea for Club Kidpreneur was easy. “We started to focus on what we were good at and then we talked about how we could put that into what we were selling. I like drawing so I did cards and my friend likes cooking so she did cupcakes.”
After the success of her first business venture, Poppy’s dream job blends her two passions and balances fun and business savvy. “I really want to be a professional skater or maybe design skateboards,” she says. “I might be the world’s best female skateboarder who designs skateboards.”