Can children become great entrepreneurs?

Not every kid is meant to go to university or college. So, it makes sense to teach them entrepreneurial skills early

By Delna Mistry Anand

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Published: Thu 18 Apr 2024, 10:16 PM

In a world where society prioritises good grades over entrepreneurial or creative potential, creative strategist and founder of House of Social Alex Carvalho dares to challenge conventional norms. Despite facing academic struggles in her own youth, Alex’s journey is a testament to the power of recognising and nurturing early inherent talents.

A digital marketing expert with over 16 years of experience, Alex helps individuals achieve 6-7-figure growth, conducting boot camps, masterclasses, and short courses. She has authored a best-selling book It’s a Good Day to be a Rebel, and her Rebel Academy offers over 20 free courses with 8,000 students. She is dedicated to empowering others make a bold statement with their marketing and personal brands.


Alex Carvalho
Alex Carvalho

More Than Good Grades

In today’s competitive world, many believe that their child’s academic success alone determines career success. Alex dares to disagree, “Not every kid is meant for university or college and yet many possess entrepreneurial skills. Most schools sadly are not set up to illuminate these early talents. Having low grades at school is still seen as a weakness; society implies that if you struggle academically, you won’t excel in a career path.”

With consistent Ds and Fs in maths, science and even English, Alex has managed to self-fund a 6-7-figure business. We are conditioned to believe that a child who fails in maths will not achieve this , and, unfortunately, the child believes this as well. Growing up, Alex found immense joy in creating and selling homemade stickers in her neighbourhood. Joining the scouts further fuelled her passion for sales. She was fortunate that her mother and grandmother supported her passions and encouraged her to pursue what made her happy. They instilled in her the value of financial independence and finding a purpose to lead a happy life.


On the Parental Role

Parents play a vital role in recognising and nurturing entrepreneurial skills in their children. There are many children who possess tremendous early smart entrepreneurial skills. The problem is, parents are neither equipped to see these early signs, nor know how to support them, or provide empowerment around them. Schools, too, still lack having programmes that teach entrepreneurial skills to provide support for these kids to actually excel.

Alex believes that children need to learn essential skills that are even beyond entrepreneurial knowledge; they are life skills --- how to manage money, how to communicate, how to negotiate, how to be kind and respectful. Learning these skills can avoid so many issues later on in life, like avoiding debt, navigating conflict, and building great relationships.

There are only gains from parents supporting and being open to kids learning entrepreneurial skills; either they will only flourish natural talents or they learn essential life skills, and that’s the beauty of the entrepreneurial skill set. Learning how to devise a mini business plan, how to break down an idea into a ready-to-market plan, how to tap into a young kid’s natural talents and passions and make that the career path they will follow. Passions and hobbies and the things young kids naturally lean in are extraordinary indicators of their potentials. In today’s world, with the Internet and social media, the opportunities can be amazing with the right guidance, support and safety.

Alex’s Top Tips on Encouraging An Entrepreneurial Mindset

1- Curiosity is a big part of entrepreneurship. It’s so important to try new things, a cooking class, an art class, something out of the box, make time for it. Your hobby is often the answer to the side hustle business you have been looking for.

2- Failing is okay. There’s too much softness around making kids win all the time, the sooner young adults learn to deal with something not working out, the quicker they will develop resilience and understanding that when something doesn’t work out it’s an opportunity to try again, learn, and get back at it.

3- Continue to learn --- about business, how to develop a business plan, how to turn an idea into a ready-to-market plan, how to negotiate, or how to communicate with confidence; these skills are so beneficial to learn at a young age not just for an entrepreneurial path but as life skills.

4- You can be ambitious, and competitive and still be kind. Learning to develop good relationships with people and paying it forward is probably the most underrated skill in entrepreneurship.

5- Be bold, have courage and follow your own gut instinct; take accountability for your decisions and don’t blame others. Yet, don’t be hard on yourself, just take the lesson and move on. Learn to trust yourself and with full confidence dive right in, not half in!

On Personal Branding

Acknowledging the role of personal branding in entrepreneurial success, Alex shares her top tips:

1- Be passionate; whatever it is --- yoga, cooking, fashion or AI, whatever the topic, you need to have a true passion and fire about it, because that passion needs to be expressed through your content.

2-Put yourself out there and understand what social media platforms, creative formats or creative execution work best for you. This is a big part of personal branding. Content is your currency, so you need to learn and develop these skills and understand how you communicate best.

3-Be vulnerable and authentic. Talk about your story, your why, and document some of your days or the journey you are on. People want to connect with people for authenticity.

4- Let your main character come out! Don’t try to be like others, or copy someone, don’t try to fit in, or suppress who you truly are, or think you need to have a certain image. No, you need to be you and when you truly realise that you can be many of the things you are and not just one, you will win! Being diverse is an asset. You don’t just have to be boxed in to one thing!

wknd@khaleejtimes.com

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