Encouraging Young Entrepreneurs: Summer Reading

Do you have a fledgling entrepreneur in the house? Talking about money with kids is important as is giving them opportunities to practice with finances. Families tend to find different ways for their kids to practice money: some give allowances, some provide opportunities to earn money around the household, and in some families entrepreneurship is encouraged.

Earning money can help youth understand the value of items. For example, one useful activity is to challenge kids to calculate how many hours of work does it take to buy something? In addition, saving money to reach a goal can help youth understand how money, when used wisely, can empower people to reach long-term goals.

If you know a youth who might be interested in earning their own money, you may want to encourage them to read stories about young entrepreneurs.There are lots of good books that you can choose from – check with your local librarian for ideas.

Here's a few that I've enjoyed:

Better than a Lemonade Stand by Daryl Bernstein– this book features over 50 ideas of how youth can earn money. Each section includes what to charge, what types of supplies are needed, how to advertise and other helpful hints.

Lunch Money by Andrew Clements – a wonderful story about the trials and tribulations of an eleven-year old boy who creates a comic strip business, especially when his neighbor sets up a competitive business. Ultimately in the story, the two competitors unite against – guess who? The school principal!

The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill – a well-written story that highlights how cutting costs can allow a fledging business to lower their costs and beat out established businesses. Does an excellent job of explaining stock ownership. Features 6th grade youth.

Money Hungry by Sharon Flake – features 13 year old girls, including one girl who has been homeless and worries that she will be again. She works hard for money. The story is well-written and engaging in many ways. Throughout the story, money – and issues surrounding money –cause the girls challenges.