Why is TeachingKidsBusiness.com relevant?
It is tough being a kid and it is becoming even tougher for kids to find their way in our fast changing global economy. Around the world we all know that a career is an important part of our balanced lives, but few of us have taken or will be taking a "Career Preparation" course. We have all studied math, sciences, geography, music, arts, gym etc...but not career preparation.
Many would argue the fundamental skills taught in our school education is our career preparation while many in the education system would argue that their goals are very broad and not narrowly focused on careers. Both views are necessary, debates will continue, but most people will agree that career preparation is necessary, that it needs to be developed further and that it should be developed in and out of the school education system. Most would agree that businesses should participate in teaching kids business.
This is all about preparing kids for independence. It is inevitable that kids will have to work someday and assume the responsibility to look after themselves. We haven't lost site that "kids need to be kids" which traditionally focuses on having fun and being sheltered from many responsibilities and pressures of life. Kids can be kids but we can also help them be better kids and more successful adults, if we prepare them in a way that gives them a great foundation.
As business is integral to life, we recognize that business skills and life skills are very interchangeable. We draw on the fact that business is much more aware of the need for and impact of skill development and experience. We can learn from business, apply it to kids and hopefully learn from kids and apply it to business. It is a win-win for Kids & business and the guiding principle behind TeachingKidsBusiness.com.
There are a number of trends that make this initiative relevant;
Future Trend (hopefully)
Our Definition for Kids
We realize there are many demographic groups within "kids" but we are targeting a broad age group from 8 (reading well) to 18 and both male and females equally. We believe that our material can be introduced at an early age (Doodling and Improv) and can be enjoyed and learned throughout high-school. As our e-mentoring program develops, it will be a valuable resource for kids of all ages, especially for those who have started or are about to start their careers.
We are getting adults who are enjoying the content and who may become our "big-kids" target group. This is not surprising as a number of the activities in the Resource Center , like Improv are being used with adults in very progressive companies. Career Coaching is also very topical for people with established careers.
We have developed our activities in a way that young and old kids can participate on their own or together. Each age group will approach the activities differently and therefore have a different learning experience. We hope that kids will revisit the activities frequently to build on their prior accomplishments and apply the skills they have learnt throughout the website.
TeachingKidsBusiness.com believes kids' education is greatly enhanced when there are partnerships involved at home and in their community. The expression "It takes a whole community to educate a child" is very relevant. A community can make education very relevant to kids as kids understand there is an interest in them and a need for their education. Communities can help contribute to enhance curriculum and a child's total education by sharing resources which help kids develop skills and create awareness of opportunities that await them.
The notion of partnerships in education has been the guiding philosophy to TeachingKidsBusiness.com's development. Partnerships can take many forms. The traditional form of partnership is to have someone from the community (parents, businesses or service groups etc.) provide resources or go into a school and instruct or assist on a specific program. We are taking the advantages of this practice and moving it to the internet.
The founder of TeachingKidsBusiness.com was very involved in developing a partnership program for the public education system (Markham, Ontario, Canada - see founder references) and through this experience, realized the opportunity to utilize the internet. The internet has an unbelievable reach and cost effectiveness. Where traditional partnerships were greatly appreciated and impactful on kids, they were limited by physical resources and proximity to schools. Our internet program can reach kids at home, in community programs and at 1,000's of schools at the same time and across many geographic boarders. As business partnerships work with us to deliver quality educational enhancement programming, our product offering will expand considerable.
TeachingKidsBusiness.com recognized that kids were increasing the amount of time they spent on the internet. We saw an opportunity to provide kids with high quality programming as an alternative to games and chat groups. The concept for the site is to evolve it in a way that kids take "ownership" in it to help develop the site in a kid friendly and interesting way. We have respected the need for games and have developed a business game.
We also recognize the need for safety and appropriate content. Safety is addressed by protecting access to kids who visit our site. Kids will not be contacted by anyone outside of TeachingKidsBusiness.com and all information that is posted to the website will be edited first. Appropriateness of information will always be debated. Fortunately, business training techniques are not very controversial and are very safe.
We have developed a "Parent Information" section to assist parents/adults on ways to approach career preparation with kids.
Our strategy section is also a good overview of driving philosophies of the site.
Number of employees
There are no employees but many participants and over time we hope to develop many successful employees and entrepreneurs from our graduates. The concept has been structured in a way that leverages technology in a way to minimize the number of employees but maximize the number of participants and the impact on kids. People participate as "volunteers" who provide, input, content and distribution of the programming. They are rewarded for their efforts in a number of ways. We are working on an "appreciation wall" to acknowledge peoples assistance in building the careers of kids.
We are working on strategies to create responsibilities for kids through our "Career Experience" section where we will be granting "Experience Certificates" in lieu of paid positions. This program is also positioned at home moms and dads and moms and dads transitioning back to work .
Many other community members can participate through our Community Involvement area with just an hour of their time for a good cause.
The founder is facilitating innovative product & brand development and participation in the site.
Uniqueness of TeachingKidsBusiness.com
This organization is very unique in the approach and goals. Our approach is to respect the potential of kids at an early age and provide them with the resources to help them prepare for their careers. We have approached this challenge with unique programming that is not widely used in education systems but is used in adult business training programs and publications.
Our strategy section outlines our goals which engage kids to develop business skills and prepare for careers.
As personal coaching is starting to take off and is thought to the next big consulting wave, we are providing this coaching service in the area of career preparation for kids.
We are very sensitive to the commercialization issues surrounding kids. We do not plan to sell banner advertising and are not interested in selling kids anything on the site. We want to provide this programming for free and provide it with integrity.
Our funding has been provided privately by the founder. Our concept is very cost effective and invites volunteers/participants to contribute content and distribution of the programming . Overtime we will introduce strategic business partnerships that are interested in jointly developing related youth programming. As we launch kids into business, in their own KidsE-Marketplace.com, we will develop a very unique funding formula for kid's businesses to fund TeachingKidsBusiness.com
Stage of Development
The website has been developed with a phased approach to minimize the investment, ensure the concept and content are well tested, and that the business model works.
The goals of this stage were to test the concept and content with introductory marketing to media and youth service groups.
Based on the very positive responses we have had, we are proceeding to Phase 2. Phase 2 consists of , implementing changes identified from input in phase 1, developing the necessary supporting Company information (Info Center), advisory board, further develop content, evolve the concept, further test and alter the programming. This stage will evolve marketing plans for the programs and the general use of the website. We expect our participation rate (content development and distribution) to increase as the website creates awareness.
Revenue generating to maintain and further develop the site.
We have introduced a number of products for sale in our store to fund the development of the website programming.
The company will adopt a structure that engages kids and a range of participants. The structure will allow people to participate online when and where they want to.
We are beginning to develop roles for administrating the site that will develop through our "Career Experience" section.
Business has been in existence for a long time but in general has excluded kids until they were finished their school education. The internet has really helped level the playing field for kids. Kids are very adaptive to technology and therefore well positioned to participate in internet based businesses at an early age.
We have learned from the many companies that had spent significant capital on unproven business models. We are taking our time and developing a solid concept & content first and resisting the hype and effects. We will let the kids develop the hype and effects at the appropriate stage and let them make history.
Role of Parents (adult mentors)
We believe that parents have a important role in helping prepare kids for their careers. We outlined some ideas and advice for parents in our "Parent Information" section. The key to this section is that parents are very influential "teachers" and that kids should not be expected to know what they want to be when they grow up.
Unfortunately there does not appear to be much research on the topic of teaching kids business. There is much research on the effectiveness on business skill training that we can relate to kids.
"Business has infiltrated every aspect of our lives - including the hearts and minds of children," Child Psychiatrist, Robert Coles.
"I have found in all my research over the years that kids virtually never talk about business, except insofar as they discuss a parent's jobless or difficulties at work. In part, that reflects many parents unwillingness to discuss their work lives with children," Robert Coles.
Mr. Coles research is consistent with our research and assessment that children have a lot of questions and the need to understand more about business.