How do we encourage the children to work when their earnings are assigned to pay for tuition?
The child is taught to save half of his/her profits for tuition, donate 10% to charitable causes, and use 40% for “fun” things. But parents can adjust this formula so that more money is earmarked for tuition. Certainly, the child should have a significant amount to spend as a result of their labors. Also, families can work together to match the funds that children put into their savings (for tuition) by asking extended family to contribute or even for local companies or GoFundMe accounts to match the savings the child has created.
Does the Kid CEO program work for kids with learning disabilities?
Absolutely! Children who are differently-abled can thrive when they work on their own businesses doing projects they enjoy and earning real rewards from their efforts. Many children will find that their attention deficits are not a factor when working on a project they are excited about. See a successful young entrepreneur with Down Syndrome here.
Does the Kid CEO Program work for kids/families in poverty?
Yes! Many of the Kid CEO Enterprises take very little money to get started. When funds for an Kid CEO Enterprise are needed, seed money can be obtained through extended family, churches, local businesses, angel investors, and sites like GoFundMe. As an Kid CEO Enterprise school matures, successful students can choose to invest in the businesses of other students or contribute to a start-up fund for other students at their school. These start-up loans need to be paid back, thus creating a perpetually increasing start-up fund for future Kid CEO Enterprises. These funds are dispersed through a Shark Tank contest which occurs 4x yearly (every quarter). Additionally, the Summer workshop is open to the parents as well as the students (although it is geared for children) and can inspire them to start their own business along with their children! Here’s a link to a video about Damon John as an impoverished kid.
What happens if the student’s business doesn’t produce enough funding for tuition?
Because each child would be working with an adult mentor, this mentor could assess the progress of the business and suggest changes or even a new direction early on, if needed. If the child simply isn’t working hard enough, then the child gets to experience a level of failure where he/she would need to enter into a public school for the rest of the school year if the tuition isn’t paid on schedule. However, if the child wants to work diligently, the mentor and parents can probably help the student create a business that is viable. The possibility of failure is a CRUCIAL part of the learning process that creates grit and perseverance. Parental support and mentor support can assist to increase the odds of success and foster the ability to “fail forward” when failure occurs. Remember, failure is not to be feared. Failure can be the path to success. Fortunately, the public school system provides a safety net which the student’s family is already taxed for.
What about child labor laws?
In general, child labor laws protect children from unscrupulous employers. Child labor laws don’t prevent a child from working for his or her own business. If state laws interfere with a student earning tuition, the business can be incorporated by the parents who can hire their children to work in the family business.
How do we get Lemonade Stand Laws in other states like Utah has passed?
“Lemonade Stand Laws” exempt children under the age of 18 from most licensing and permitting requirements as they run their own businesses. We can convince people that entrepreneurship is one of the most important things a child can learn and that encouraging youthful enterprise will repay society and the state coffers many times over in the future. Create some policy papers and create a groundswell of support for kids’ empowerment. Possibly agree to a 20k annual cap on profits to qualify as a lemonade stand business. Here’s a link with more details about the laws.
But don’t kids need to relax and play instead of working on a business?
The average child spends 5 hours per day on screens. This is a tragic waste. Also, many children spend countless hours in athletics that are potentially physically harmful and rarely create a path to a livelihood. Additionally, many students overstress themselves to get straight “A’s” in every class so they can try to get admittance into elite colleges. Kid CEO Enterprisers have more balance in their lives because they have many pathways to success.
Would kids be forced to work too hard?
Children will quickly learn how to work smart and to look for more profitable opportunities. Society should not be afraid to have children earnestly strive to serve others.
Lots of high school kids are overstressed and overscheduled already — how could they run a business in addition to school?
Much of teen stress involves trying to perform at strenuous levels in too many activities so that they can compete for a few scholarships at elite colleges. With a successful business, children can pay for much of their own college, and don’t need to become obsessed with competing compulsively for a few awards. In fact, universities will likely be very impressed with a student who has run a business since elementary school and accept him/her over another student who has a routine resume of sports, straight As, and busywork service clubs.
Isn’t it a bad thing to train children to be motivated by money and profit?
A better way to think of the issue is that a business is successful only when the enterpriser solves a problem, meets a need, and serves the customer unselfishly. The profit is simply an indicator of how well a customer was served and how thrifty the enterpriser was with his/her resources. This form of serving others is in direct contrast to students who live off of family, educational or government welfare and are too self-centered, lazy, or proud to work hard for others. Alternatively, a child could choose to incorporate as a non-profit entity and pay his tuition out of his/her salary. Finally, every child is encouraged and rewarded for donating 10% of their profits to a charity, church or other entity that benefits society. All of these factors combine to create students who are charitable, generous, service-oriented and hard-working. We call this “Character-based Capitalism.”