Budding Entrepreneurs

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

Budding Entrepreneurs

Postby jedamum » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:29 am

A few months ago, our ds1 succeeded in his first sales transaction in school - sale of a packet of Apollo Cake to his classmate. He chanced upon this 'business opportunity' by chance when one of his classmate offered to buy a packet of his cakes during recess. However, the novelty wears off (as well as his supply of cakes from home :wink:) and no news was heard for a while.

Then yesterday, he eagerly told me about his new 'business' venture - ping pong balls (sale of ping pong balls was out-of-stock at the school's bookshop; so demand is there, but no supply). I was amused and concerned at the same time. We believe that we had never deprived our ds1 of any reasonable request for toys or tidbits. We also believe that his daily allowance is sufficient to meet his recess needs with a substantial remaining portion for savings. So why is he enticed by the few cents that he stand to pocket from selling these stuff?

Empowerment.
It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities.
Empowerment is ultimately driven by the individual's belief in their capability to influence events.


While we are mindful of the risk of running against any school rules that explicitly forbid acts of such nature, we are also wary not to stomp his flame of enthusiasm. When questioned about the legality of such acts, the boy had retorted that it is not uncommon for classmates to queue up to buy extra food and resell them (at cost price) to fellow classmates. With that, I permitted his 'business initiative' (also for fear that he may carry out his business 'underground' :roll:), but on condition that he must adhere to the following guidelines:-

1. For Items Available in the Canteen/Bookshop;
- To price similar items at same price as School Vendors;
- Purpose of his sale is to offer an alternative choice of flavours (eg cakes/snacks) to his friends; or to those who wants to save time by avoiding long queues at the Vendor's stall; or for items that is no longer on sale (eg ping pong balls).

2. No Hawking of Items
- He must not push for sales of his items. He can only accept his friend's offer to buy his goods.
- Somehow, he had found a way to get around this rule; by taking out his item for self-use (eg eat the cake; play with the ball), he is in a way, already advertising his wares without pushing for sales :roll:

3. When in doubt, the customer is always right
- In the event that his friends changed their mind about the purchase or damaged the items and requested for a refund, he is to entertain full refund.
- While his initial stand is 'Goods sold are non-refundable', I had explained to him that it is fruitless to pursue the matter over a few cents of profit. He is to make a full refund and remember not to 'transact' with the same person ever again.

As his profit is 100% (cos we supply his 'goods' FOC :wink:), he does not see the need to price his items too high or get too stressed up to recoup his capital.

:idea: I guess he is also doing this cos sometimes school can be a bit mundane; do you have any such stories to share?

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Postby schellen » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:32 am

Wah, I better "warn" DD. Lately, she has been coming home with no leftover pocket money for her "piggy" bank. Hmmm..... :idea:

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Postby jedamum » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:36 am

schellen wrote:Wah, I better "warn" DD. Lately, she has been coming home with no leftover pocket money for her "piggy" bank. Hmmm..... :idea:

Yes...heehee...sorry about it. ;) do keep a look out for an orange ping pong ball. it is to be sold at the same price as the bookshop.
i make sure that he don't bring more than 1-2 items to school so that i can stretch his 'selling' experience for a few days.
besides cash, this boy also except anything (that he fancies) in exchange - can find all sorts of junk (which he treats as treasure) in his pencil case :roll:

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Postby schellen » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:41 am

Considering how they play ping pong, I'm not surprised how quickly the balls need to be replaced. I see the bats in her bag but not the balls leh.

As for junk, I have to constantly empty DD's bag to see what stuff she has accumulated in it that is not necessary for school.

Off-topic: DD mentioned last night that she would like to borrow the Geronimo Stilton book which she saw your DS1 reading last time. I think she failed to find that volume at the library. TIA.

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Re: Budding Entrepreneurs

Postby ChiefKiasu » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:41 am

jedamum wrote:... So why is he enticed by the few cents that he stand to pocket from selling these stuff?...


It is very rare for a P1 kid to have such enterprising ideas in affluent Singapore these days. Your kid is truly gifted with an independence and savviness which I personally deem to be far more important than the academic excellence that our society values so highly. He is a natural-born towkay. Do what you can to help him grow this talent!

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Re: Budding Entrepreneurs

Postby schellen » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:49 am

ChiefKiasu wrote:It is very rare for a P1 kid to have such enterprising ideas in affluent Singapore these days. Your kid is truly gifted with an independence and savviness which I personally deem to be far more important than the academic excellence that our society values so highly. He is a natural-born towkay. Do what you can to help him grow this talent!


He is already class monitor leh. And according to jedamum, he does his job with pride and looks forward to it. (Unlike my DD who sees it as just another duty at school. If have post, okay. If no post, also okay.)

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Postby qingzi » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:08 pm

Yeah it is lucky that he shows such abilities at such a young age. My cousin is so worried abt her daughter (14 yrs) that she has no sense of responsibility that she is sending her to some entrepreneurship course outside school. Yes, they actually have such programs! It sounds pretty good, she gets to do actual community projects, meet professionals and learn how to set up her own business.

But anyway, don't think your son needs that! 8)

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Postby jedamum » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:08 pm

There used to be a Mediacorp School contest on Entrepreneurship; ie the competing primary schools are supposed to come up with some products and sell them and at the end of the 3 days, the school with the highest earnings get a place in the final round (i only watched the reruns). What left a deep impression was during one round, at the end of the competition, the comments from the kids were as followed (something like that):

Losing Team (neighbourhood school): It's a great experience and we enjoy the process very much.

Winning Team (popular school): We are happy that we won. It would be better if we won by a bigger margin

During one segment of the competition when both teams met on the street, the Winning Team touted the Losing Team's customers and pester them until they somewhat 'scared' the Losing Team's customers away.

I feel that Entrepreneurship is not solely about knowing how to peddle their wares; they should have that spirit of fair competition too....not realistic in real-life, but hey, we are talking about kids here.

2 cents.

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Postby westmom » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:42 pm

qingzi wrote:Yeah it is lucky that he shows such abilities at such a young age. My cousin is so worried abt her daughter (14 yrs) that she has no sense of responsibility that she is sending her to some entrepreneurship course outside school. Yes, they actually have such programs! It sounds pretty good, she gets to do actual community projects, meet professionals and learn how to set up her own business.

But anyway, don't think your son needs that! 8)


My dd needs this entrepreneurship course! Some exposure would do her good. Any name leads? Last time when she was in P1, she likes a certain liquid corrector the friend had. The friend sold it to her (mind u, it was "used" one) for something like 50cts. Silly gal !

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Postby jedamum » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:36 am

westmom wrote:The friend sold it to her (mind u, it was "used" one) for something like 50cts. Silly gal !

erm...my boy gave a sweet to his friend in exchange of a pen :oops:
he didn't specifically asked for the pen. His friend was interested in his sweet and asked if he wanted to trade for something. He asked his friend what the friend has in exchange for the sweet and his friend offered his pen which he of course gladly accepted. :oops:
i had since told him not to accept such trade cos while i am happy that he recognised that the pen is of higher value, i don't want him to take advantage of his friend. :oops:

another story, once he almost sold a story book based on the the printed price tag; his Ladybird book which is retailing at about $3 has a printed $1.99 pound on it which he almost sold for $2. :D i had since clarified with him about the differences and that he cannot take stuff from home to sell without seeking my permission. :wink:

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