I am sorry. I know all the pros about teaching our kids to be entrepreneurs in this society is amazeballs and I have also heard the talk from Nikki Bush about future careers, and that the ones our kids will most likely occupy probably doesn’t exist yet. I get it. We should teach them entrepreneurial skills and how to make money. And I get that this is the ultimate intention of the annual entrepreneurs’ day at school.
But for the love of sanity, can we for once just set up a stall, sell some pancakes or lemonade and let it be!
I hate entrepreneurs’ days. My kids never seem to make much money and it ends up stressing me out endlessly. So, you’ve guessed it, you wickedly clever reader, I just went through another one! This time with my youngest, who is in grade 4 and this was her first entrepreneurs’ day.
They had this idea to sell lemonade, which I thought was pretty clever. The ingredients are easy to get, easy to make and you should be able to recoup your money quickly. But, no-oh-no, that’s not enough. They have to make five different things to sell (apparently it was three to five things, but that little titbit of information was not passed on to me).Now, I don’t know about you, but one of the lessons I have learned in business is that you should be careful not to expand your portfolio too much too soon. So, they ended up making the lemonade, cupcakes, sweet kebabs (which is sweets on a stick), mud buddies (little balls with sand in them with weird eyes and pokey noses) AND some homemade jewellery. Now you don’t need to be a maths wizard to know that they will probably make a profit on the lemonade and the cupcakes, but this will be severely diluted with the rest of the stuff, in my humble opinion.
For starters, if you do your market research, you will realise that there are less than 400 kids in this school. Each kid will probably coax about R20 to R50 out of the parent, who are swearing at ANOTHER entrepreneurs’ day (in our school there are entrepreneurs’ days for each of the grades from grade 4 onwards, which makes four of them a year). And then there are about 46 grade 4’s, teamed into groups of two, so 23 groups with 5 items each they are trying to punt. I don’t know about you, but if I have only R30 to spend, I am gonna have a drink, something yummy to eat, do something fun and look for something that I can spend on, to get rid of the change.
I cannot see how getting kids to participate in an market that is filled to the brims with trinkets is teaching our kids to survive in the big bad world out there. I would much rather them focusing on one or two things and make a big effort promoting their goods. Showing them how to calculate how much they need to charge per item to make a profit, and helping them work out when it is okay to start selling the leftover lemonade at half price. Now we are talking business sense.
All that is going to happen is that they will tally the money, deduct the cash outflow (ignoring the effort of all involved AND the anguish of a mom who had to speed to the Pick n Pay for a second time in two hours because the ‘enough’ cups turned out to be enough for about a quarter of the lemonade). And if they make a profit they will be happy and if they make a loss they will be devastated. But they will have no idea why this happened. At all. Especially since the lemonade will sell like cupcakes…
And the end result? I am left with probably 10 litres of lemonade, cupcakes to feed the entire street’s kids and since my daughter thought it ‘fair’ to split the money halfways, forgetting that I spent most of the upfront cash, a fairly substantial loss.
Anybody for lemonade (with a complimentary dash of vodka)??