We did a bunch of great virtual summer camps with children from ages 6 to 13 years during the lockdown. One of them was the Young Entrepreneurs Program designed to mentor, support and equip today's children with the necessary skills and awareness of the world of startups.
The idea was to focus on building the following skills: Self confidence, Goal setting, Financial literacy & Teamwork. These are skills that will empower and the entrepreneurial mindset is surely for everybody who wants to succeed!
Like most experiential learning sessions we facilitate, we learnt as much as our young participants did, if not more!
Over the 6 day period, we went all out from problem finding to solving, creating real businesses, doing some sales and marketing and managing finances!
The youngsters sold their artwork and comics, took virtual workshops on ethical hacking, scratch, writing comics and even selling some essential goods and cakes to neighbours in times of such a pandemic.
They ran these small businesses based on their strengths, they learnt the art of pricing right and negotiating (through a fun game of stock markets!) and built an innovative and growth mindset.
Here’s a quick run through of the entire program:
Design Thinking: The first day of the summer camp was a fast paced Design Thinking bootcamp where our young entrepreneurs learnt about the importance of empathising with the users/customers of the business and keeping them at the forefront of entrepreneurial activities.
Strengths Finder: Our young entrepreneurs realized early on that finding what their strengths are, is very important so that they can play by those and look at how they can collaborate vulnerably with others for the other aspects of business. We saw some amazing collaboration across the (virtual) room where the young entrepreneurs found their first co-founders for the businesses they were building!
Negotiation: Our young entrepreneurs learnt about negotiation where they negotiated for their lives through a fun activity called the AirCrash. Here each participant was given a fictitious role and they negotiated as that character to save their lives as the plane goes crashing down with only 2 parachutes to spare!
Risk & Investments: The Stock Market is a perfect analogy to learn about risks & investments, so we designed a Stock Market game specifically for the young entrepreneurs mirroring the market conditions of the day and the participants trade stocks, make decisions to buy, keep or sell their stocks depending on the market conditions. Many of them tripled their stock values!
Growth Mindset: A very important skill set for any entrepreneur, the participants learnt about various businesses and how they apply the growth mindset and how they can develop their own growth mindsets.
Pitching: On the last day of the summer camp, the participants learnt the essential skill of pitching their business ideas to an audience and how they can influence others to invest in their business or buy their offerings.
Overall, it was a great experience, right from choosing their field to pitching it! Even if the kids do not take up entrepreneurship they are sure to apply these skills in their school projects, their personal lives, college applications, their future jobs, and pretty much their entire lives!