As a parent who is passionate about helping children make the best of their abilities, I was delighted to hear about the book Enterprising Child.
The book shows you how easy it is to nurture your child’s entrepreneurial potential through fun everyday activities. The author, Lorraine Allman, is a business woman with over 12 years’ experience in running her own businesses and supporting adults and young people to do the same. The book has been written primarily for parents and educators who are interested in developing children’s entrepreneurial skills and attitudes. It is also a useful resource for individuals who are thinking about starting their own business or are unsure about their capabilities.
The book starts with a brief description of the five key characteristics of an entrepreneur, why they are important and what parents can do to help children develop these characteristics through activities you can easily incorporate into everyday situations, in and around the home. For example, in your garden, while you’re out shopping or on a trip to the local farm.
Fun activities for different age groups
The activities themselves are categorised according to different age groups: 4-6 years, 6-9 years, 9-11 years, and 11-14 years. Each activity helps develop at least one of the five key entrepreneurial characteristics, and there is a clear summary at the end of each activity outlining what your child is learning. It’s easy to dip in and out of this section, picking activities to suit your day. This is particularly helpful if you have children in different age groups. Our family favourites include “Managing Risk, Room for Growth”, “Destination Decision” and “Curious Kids”.
The author is keen to stress that the activities are not prescriptive and there is not only one way to do things. Although they are structured according to age groups, it is up to your child to set the pace according to her learning style and capability. Don’t be afraid to allow your child to attempt an activity that is in another age group, or to let her natural curiosity take her “off route”. Activities that do not work out as planned provide great opportunities for analyses and discussions, and to try again rather than viewing the activity as having failed. After all, this is what being an entrepreneur is all about!
You can view some of the sample activitives on the Enterprising Child website. Additional activities, downloads and interviews are available free to purchasers of the book. The website also publishes a new feature every two weeks – it may be an interview with a child about their enterprising activities, an article from a parenting or education expert, or comments and reviews on topics related to developing children’s entrepreneurial potential.
Interviews with successful entrepreneurs
The book includes interviews with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders throughout, including Tim Campbell MBE (the first winner of The Apprentice and founder of Bright Ideas Trust), Paul Lindley (Ella’s Kitchen) and Laura Tenison MBE (JoJo Maman Bébé). It is fascinating to read about their growing-up years, how their parents’ work ethics and values influenced their decisions in work and business, and, where applicable, how they are developing their own children’s enterprising characteristics.
The final section of the book is dedicated to interviews with successful young entrepreneurs. It provides great insight into how they overcome their own hurdles to build their businesses, often at a very young age.
As the author herself noted, the book does not suggest that every child should start their own business or become an entrepreneur. It doesn’t focus solely on teaching children business skills. What it does emphasise, however, is the importance of encouraging children to think and behave in entrepreneurial ways, and to inspire them to be free-thinkers. The entrepreneurial skills you help your child develop will help them make the best of the opportunities and challenges they inevitably face in the years ahead.
Enterprising Child is well laid-out, easy to read, and is exactly what it says – “a practical guide for parents of children aged 4 to 14 years.” It is great to see a book acknowledge the importance of nurturing a child’s entrepreneurial characteristics, and that full-time employment is not the only option.
Click here to order your copy now: Enterprising Child – developing your child’s entrepreneurial potential