SPOTTING ENTREPRENEURIAL POTENTIAL IN YOUTH: START OUTSIDE THE BOX

Let’s admit it: we’re not all cut out for life on skates or dance shoes. Some of us are born with two left feet – and an overactive right brain, bursting with creativity.

Our natural talents don’t dominate on the basketball court or in the pool. We rock making connections, creating opportunities, and solving problems people don’t even know they have.

Kids are the same. Physical sports are great extracurricular activities, but they’re not going to suit every child. There are kids who are looking for ways to turn their ideas into actions. Kids who know their greatest potential is in their heads and their hearts, not their hands and their feet.

Those are the kids we want to reach. We want to ensure everyone has a chance to experience the empowerment of entrepreneurship. We want them to know the pride that comes from taking an idea and turning it into a business proposal, ready to share with investors and customers. We owe it to these kids to show them what’s possible. That they can create their own opportunities – and they don’t have to wait until they are an adult to learn about business.

Warren Buffett earned money buying and reselling chewing gum and soda pop as a kid.

At age 12, Elon Musk wrote the code for a video game he then sold for $500.

Richard Branson founded a magazine at age 16.

Children have a great capacity for creative thinking and problem solving, and programs like the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge are perfect training grounds for the next Buffetts, Musks, and Bransons of New Brunswick.

So how do you know when to steer a child towards entrepreneurship? Watch for the kid who mixes all the pop flavours together to create a new ‘must-have’ item for the cafeteria crowd. That’s a creative thinker and influencer who could be a powerful brand creator and influencer. That kid directing others to build an epic fort in the woods? Leadership potential. The kid rocking the school fundraisers and moving thousands of dollars of product knows enough about networking and selling to challenge for any sales position.

Team sports, dance recitals, and entrepreneurial challenges all have a role to play in helping our youth discover their passions. And we all have a role in ensuring youth know there are local mentors, role models, and peers willing to cheer on their creative ideas.

Know a kid who thinks outside the box? Bring them to the Youth Entrepreneurship Gala at the Delta Beausejour on May 3 for a fantastic dose of inspiration! Listen to local youth entrepreneurs pitch business ideas. Celebrate creativity, confidence, and resilience. Get your tickets today!