Teaching Children How to Be Entrepreneurs

By online.wsj.com, 8-4-2014 

CEO Kids: Putting the Small in Small Business

More New Programs Promise to Build Children's Skills

Princeton, N.J.
Jensen Bergman spent weeks preparing to pitch his team's business idea to investors. Minutes before the meeting, he was playing ping-pong outside the board room to stay calm.
Jensen is 9 years old.
"If they say no, it's going to be really upsetting for us," he said as one of his teammates wheeled up beside him on a tiny scooter.
Jensen was taking part in a program called "8 and Up" that teaches young children about entrepreneurship.
As a culmination of the class, which met for six weeks in Princeton, N.J., and cost $350, Jensen and his 15 peers would soon pitch their idea—"Tiger KidsClub," a Friday night hangout space for children—to real, grown-up investors at Tigerlabs, a local seed fund.
As startups like WhatsApp and Oculus VR Inc. get snapped up for billions of dollars and others, like Twitter and Facebook, go public for more, younger children are filling classes, camps and other programs that promise to develop entrepreneurial skills in the pre-pubescent set. 
Some scholars argue that cultivating entrepreneurship in the very young is vital, as children are born imaginative, energetic, and willing to take risks, but lose this entrepreneurial spirit over time. Advocates say such programs make up for gaps left by an educational system that ill prepares students for a tech-centric, rapidly shifting job market.
"It's best to teach them at age 5," says Cristal Glangchai, founder of VentureLab in San Antonio, which offers a weeklong course for 5- to 7-year-old girls called Girl Startup 101. It costs $255 for five six-hour days of instruction, including lessons on 3-D prototyping, market research, business modeling and pricing.
In a similar course last summer, Ms. Glangchai says she helped a 5-year-old identify a problem: getting into trouble for eating Play-Doh. The solution: After polling students and parents, he created a marketing plan for a line of edible clay-like products in various flavors.>>>


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