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Michelle Leong Francis

Strategic HR Consultant, Org Effectiveness, TTG Group of Companies

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Chips, Dolls and Chocolate Candies ... by the age of five can we develop successful entrepreneurs and save lives?

I know it sounds crazy, but those are only a few of the tools I used to teach my boys about entrepreneurship, financial literacy, leadership and culture.
The question posed… Is it possible to teach kids to be successful entrepreneurs by the time they are five years old? I tried many interesting experiments with my children as a young momma bear, to test their wit. I tested them on the concepts of accounting, supply chain and team building. I knew I was successful, when I was driving home one day with my kids and their friends in the car, when I heard the crinkle of bag of chips. I glanced in my rearview mirror to witness my 5 year old instructing his friends to close the bag and 'Save Some for Later'. My ahhha moment! Financial Planning 101.
This tiny act started my burning desire to share with parents, kids and educators … virtually whoever would listen about my breakthrough lessons on the fundamental skills of entrepreneurship and life. Through a youth inspired International Network initiative, I was now armed to make a difference.
The skills that I have transferred to youth since my ‘experimental days’ have changed lives. They have saved some from unfulfilled dreams, underdeveloped power or identity crisis. This is the reality of development work. This was never the intention, but has instilled 'hope' and a reason to 'become'.
Just talking [writing] about it gives me goose bumps. My kids are now engaged in my initiative and so is my community. I am living my life with purpose... finally. The initiative is in honour of my late nephew, who I was unable to save. As, I write his daughter sits right beside me – her personality and drive is bursting with possibilities. My promise to him, was to right the wrongs ... being absent, not hearing the silence or trivializing dreams. This would prevent future youth from having to stand alone, shout to be heard or be afraid to be weak in the face of uncertainty criticism.
When is early, too early for change or to inspire a Zpirit?

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    Nov 1 2011: Why do you think entrepreneurs "save lives"?

    In this day and age it might be more reasonable to teach young children to become revolutionaries, instead of those who sustain a murderous capitalist system - that is, entrepreneurs.
    • Nov 2 2011: Why do you think a capitalist system is "murderous" ?

      I think anything that teaches kids how to think creatively, how to make the world a better place (even through their own benefit) is positive thing. At the same time the kids also need to learn about (business) ethics, social responsibility, community and so on.