“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
– Theorodre Roosevelt
It’s clear the world needs more innovation and more entrepreneurs. And the skills of entrepreneurship are also super awesome life skills. Gypsy Spoonful wishes to partner with parents to teach kids business to nurture that next generation of doers and dreamers!
Do we really need more entrepreneurs?
Small businesses really are the backbone of the economy. Almost half of the US’s private sector workforce (49.2%) is employed by small business, and for the last twenty years, small businesses have been responsible for creating two out of every three (64%) of net new jobs.
Some of the most important developments in the last century have come about because of scrappy entrepreneurs (Remember, Steve Jobs started Apple in his basement).
Small businesses also lead the way in innovation. A study conducted by the Small Business Administration found that small businesses produced 16 times more patents per employee compared to larger patenting firms.
We’ll always need doctors, lawyers, and accountants, but we definitely need entrepreneurs, too.
Which is why we need to think about how we can pay it forward and help inspire, mentor, and empower our kids to think like early entrepreneurs.
When I was 7 years old, I colored styrofoam balls with crayons and went door to door and sold them to my neighbors (with my mom’s approval of course). When I was 8 I cleaned my toy box out and put my old toys on a folding table and tried to sell them in my driveway. I got an early start, and much encouragement from my Mom and Grandparents. I knew the fire in my belly at a young age, and it was encouraged~ and would you look at me now?! – Heather (owner/CEO of GypsySpoonful and GoosieGirl)
Grade school can discourage entrepreneurial thinking- sad panda!
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that some of the most successful entrepreneurs were B students who later dropped out of college. As mentioned before, non-college graduate entrepreneurs include Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, just to name a handful.
The school system wants students to focus on the task assigned, not go off and dream up their own projects. Following direction is rewarded, and doing your own thing is pretty much frowned upon. Whether it is coloring outside the lines, or not standig in line with the rest of your classmates, it’s usually met with punishment most of the time.
Guidance counselors often encourage kids to pursue traditional careers, ones that require a university education. There is usually very little talk of starting a business.
We are not saying education isn’t important, or that we’re talking about every teacher in every school system in the world. Of course, math, English and science are important. Of course, plenty of teachers inspire kids to follow their dreams.
Instead, we believe the school system as a whole discourages entrepreneurial thinking on a fundamental level; they prepare students to become good employees, which is the polar opposite of what we vibe with. lol! Such rebels, aren’t we?
Entrepreneurial traits, like risk prediction and rebelliousness (a trait also common to teenagers coincidentally enough), are generally considered negative and are suppressed rather than nurtured.
We’re not going to pretend for a minute that we know more than professional educators. teachers, or principals. All I know is what I’ve homeschooled some spit fires at my house and experienced first-hand, what other people have shared about what shaped them to be child entrepreneurs, and how they teach it to their own kids.
So how do we teach kids entrepreneurship?
In his awesome Ted Talk, Cameron Herald talks about the various businesses he made for himself as a kid, like selling coat hangers to dry cleaning businesses, and buying comic books from poor kids to sell at a profit to rich kids. It’s worth watching the entire video.
Chances are, if you’ve found this page, you have a kiddo who has that fire in their belly and in addition to their school career, they want to get their side hustle on…
Here’s What We Suggest You Do Next:
Kids, ages 13-18 years old are encouraged to apply for a shop on Gypsy Spoonful, but only under the following circumstances- You, as the child’s parent or legal guardian, agree to do much of the work. When someone applies to sell on Gypsy Spoonful, they’re not just opening a shop, they’re joining a creative community which requires participation, promotion, interaction in addition to just selling.
Kids who wish to sell on Gypsy Spoonful must follow some additional policies:
- Use the Shop Description to disclose all members of the shop, including the parent or legal guardian.
- All billing information must belong to the parent/guardian responsible for the account.
- If using Paypal, register with the parent/guardian’s information.
- Backup funding source MUST be provided upon request before the shop will be set up. (We will give you information if/when your application has been approved)
- We ask that the required participation for Gypsy Spoonful groups and accounts on social media such as Facebook are done by the parent or legal guardian.
Bottom Line: individuals under the age of 18 are considered minors on Gypsy Spoonful. Kids under age 13 are not allowed on Gypsy Spoonful (what?! why?? see below). Minors age 13-18 years of age may use the site, but they must have a parent or legal guardian manage their account. Additionally, those under the age of 18 may not use Gypsy Spoonful’s community features under any circumstances~ Restrictions are in place for legal reasons, not because we think kids or teens are any less creative or capable. We actually believe quite the opposite, but we don’t make the rules, and unfortunately, we are required to follow them.
Backstory: The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is a law created to protect the privacy of children under 13. The Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1998 and took effect in April 2000. COPPA is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). COPPA imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age.
We fully encourage and support parents/legal guardians in their effort of raising young entrepreneurs.
All minors, both buyers and sellers must follow these policies on Gypsy Spoonful
- Minors may not make purchases unless they’re under the direct supervision of the parent or legal guardian who manages their account.
- All financial information on the account, such as a credit card or PayPal account, must be that of a parent or guardian.
- Minors must update their profile to disclose who is involved in the account, e.g., “[Minor’s first name] has permission to make purchases on Etsy, and her/his parent/guardian oversees this Etsy account.”
- The parent/guardian of a minor must write to the head honcho with a statement of permission and confirmation of the minor’s age after an application is submitted. The subject line should be “Parent/Guardian of [Gypsy Spoonful username] wishes to activate this account.”
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can’t wait to help you succeed!
“When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make, Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.”
(Looking for grants to fund your young entrepreneur’s dream? Check this page out )