5th April, 2017
While people may not know what the future looks like, there’s one quality we can foster in our children to make sure they’re prepared for whatever comes: curiosity.
Lemonade Stand has been running entrepreneur workshops for children aimed at fostering a sense of entrepreneurship and development of tech-based solutions.
MYOB has been offering the program to employees, as we know that the future of business is changing rapidly and our children need to be given the best possible shot at success.
Sounds like heady stuff to be tackling during the school holidays, but parents are increasingly seeing that those are the skills their kids will need in the future and taking action.
“When I saw this opportunity, the thing that struck me was that many of the jobs we have today won’t exist when our kids grow up,” Thilini Caldera told The Pulse.
Caldera is one of the parents who managed to book a spot in the program for her child, Nevin, and said that she decided to enroll him into Lemonade Stand because she wanted to make sure he was prepared.
“Our kids need to do better than we’re doing now, so our kids need to be ready for what the world is going to offer them. At the same time, he’s 10, so he doesn’t need to be thinking about that right now,” she said.
Lemonade Stand takes kids through a two-day workshop during school holidays looking at things like business fundamentals, elevator pitches, lean startup methodologies and building websites – but that could all potentially be dull as dishwater.
Instead, children are given an opportunity to come up problems they want to solve and simply helped in using the tools to simplify their success.
Caldera didn’t initially think that an entrepreneur workshop was age-appropriate, but then she noticed that kids were already entrepreneurial.
“I spoke to a few of my friend’s kids, and they are doing things like having a card business during Christmas,” explained Caldera.
“You don’t think about kids running businesses and making a profit, but that made me think those sorts of things can be age-appropriate.”
What Lemonade Stand did, according to Caldera, was to give Nevin the skills to make the most out of his natural curiosity.
Having moved from Sri Lanka three years ago, Caldera said the biggest single skill Nevin could learn was the ability to explain an idea.
“If we can acquire something like presentation skills, if he can learn to market ideas better…he’ll do quite well,” she said.
“If I can make him outspoken, well-read and confident in front of others…whatever the technical parts of his studies are he’ll always have the ability to explain an idea.”
She had also noticed a spirit of curiosity in Nevin she was keen to cultivate.
“I’ve seen things in Nevin like wanting to find solutions to problems…so I wanted to find a way to encourage that,” said Caldera.
She said that she already did a lot to try and foster inquisitiveness in Nevin, such as taking him to the library when he was interested in something and encouraging more screen time.
“I try to encourage him to use the iPad more to create movies and do all sorts of things, because I know technology is going to play a huge role when he grows up,” said Caldera.
“If we keep on feeding that curiosity, kids will continue to ask questions.”
As Australia and the world transitions to becoming a knowledge economy, the winners will be the ones with the ability to ask questions, find solutions and then present those solutions.
“Lemonade Stand did that very well, because it was brainstorming, putting everything together, sorting out what are the most important questions and problems in the world and prioritising,” said Caldera.
“It makes them feel that they don’t have to sort out all the problems, that they can just sort out one thing at a time.”