Start your engine...


The following article, featuring founder Karley Sessoms, is reposted from

Kids can study entrepreneurial skills early

Some kids open a lemonade stand on the corner. Other kids think about how to turn that lemonade stand into a business. Parents Karley Sessoms and Ellen Dyke recognized the potential in kids and believe that young children have innate potential which, if nurtured, can lead to economic opportunities and unleashing children’s innovative and creative potential.

Sessoms and Dyke identified the five-I’s that they believe will help foster children’s potential: Inspiration; Ideation and problem solving; Interaction and collaboration; Innovation and creativity; and Initiative. Together, the five I’s comprise the Entrepreneurial Engine that Sessoms and Dyke teach through their Next Gen Minipreneurs program, designed to augment and complement the curriculum standards taught in elementary schools.

To help kids become Minipreneurs Sessoms and Dyke recommend:

1. Teach children to recognize opportunities. Once children are old enough to understand the concept of how money works, they may want to set-up their first lemonade stand or make their first cookie sale. Capture their curiosity, enthusiasm and sprit, encourage them to seek out different ways to make money; support them and help them follow through.

2. Foster innovation and inspire creative thinking in children. Inspired children have unlimited ability to create innovative ideas. Guide children and help them understand the potential of opportunity. Support children through taking reasonable risks and recognizing the benefits of failure and resiliency.

3. Give children the gift of learning and adapting life and careers skills for the 21st century. Use the Next Gen Minipreneurs five I’s: Inspiration; Ideation and problem solving; Interaction and collaboration; Innovation and creativity; and Initiative.

4. Augment and complement school curriculums, whether STEM, language arts or the social sciences. When teachers and parents recognize that entrepreneurship education can be a vehicle to teach other disciplines, entrepreneurship education will be seen as a method of teaching other disciplines.

5. Empower children by giving them the knowledge that they can make a difference in the lives of their families, communities and even globally through entrepreneurship. The business part of entrepreneurial education teaches children the tools they need to become integral, contributing parts of their families’ and communities’ financial viability. Teaching business ethics and team values empowers children through the belief that they can take an active role in solving some of the more vexing problems that plague our society, both here and around the world.

As a result of entrepreneurship programs, children have started simple with the making and selling of baked goods, using proceeds to hold parties at veterans’ hospitals for wounded warriors and their families. Miniprenuers have also had other innovative ideas, like the “Buy a Kid for a Kid” business in which 5th graders provided party entertainment for younger kids. Other Next Gen Minipreneurs have designed their own custom-made cards to be sold through an easy shop and created a video production company that will earn income on Youtube channel.

With the help of Next Gen Minipreneurs kids can put their dreams of starting a business they have always dreamed of into action and gain valuable skills that will help them throughout their lives.

Let's make a profit

When many kids discover the power of money and what it means to them, they want to run their first lemonade stand. Parents willingly indulge in the afternoon fun, helping kids gather supplies, make the lemonade and set-up shop. In this activity, your second or third grade child will practice math skills, learn basic business concepts and figure out financial planning to “make a profit.”

What You Need:

  • Lined paper

  • Pencils

What You Do:

  1. Pick a sunny weekend day without plans on your schedule.

  2. Ask your child if she would like to run a lemonade stand, tell her that you will need to figure out what supplies she will need, how much they will cost, and the price at which she will sell her lemonade.

  3. Brainstorm with your child the supplies she will need to make the lemonade, including ingredients, equipment to make the lemonade and supplies to sell the lemonade. Help her make the list as extensive as possible, and include things such as pitchers, stirring spoons, and other equipment you probably have in your house.

  4. As you brainstorm with your child, differentiate between items that will likely need to be purchased (ingredients, cups) and those that you have on-hand in the house (kitchen equipment, tables.)

  5. Help your child write down these items, breaking them into a “Have” or “Need” list.

  6. Tell your child that you will help her start the lemonade stand by using kitchen and other equipment you have in the house.Tell your child that you will help her research the cost of the items you do not have and will need to purchase so she can run her lemonade stand.

  7. For this exercise, a prepackaged lemonade mix might be easier to explain the concept of profit.

  8. Using an online retailer, find the following:

    1. lemonade mix that provides the number of servings; and

    2. supply of plastic cups equal to or greater than the number of lemonade.

  9. Have your child add up the cost of the lemonade mix and the cost of the of the cups. Help your child divide the total cost of the lemonade mix and the cups by the total amount of servings. Explain to your child that this is the per unit cost for her to make each cup of lemonade.

  10. Ask your child how much she would like to sell her lemonade, tell her that she needs to sell each cup of lemonade for more than her per unit cost. Explain to your child that this is the per unit price to sell her lemonade.

  11. Have your child write per unit price less her per unit cost, explain to her that the difference is her profit. Explain to her that profit is the money she will earn from the sale of lemonade.

This exercise should give your child a basic understanding of the financial aspects of her lemonade stand. At the end of the day, when she closes her lemonade stand, help her count the money she earned and review per unit cost, per unit price and profit to reinforce learning.

Brainstorm a"dream day"

Time Management for Kids (compliments of our friends at

Ever have one of those days when everything seems to be flying wild, out of control? For kids, who often don't control their own schedules, life can often feel that way. In second grade, kids start learning how to take control of that chaos by understanding time and its sequences of seconds, minutes, hours, and so on. In this activity, your child will get practice planning and math skills by creating a special "dream day." Then she'll chart each activity in a detailed schedule.

What You Need:

  • Lined Paper
  • Pencils

What You Do:

  1. Pick a day over a weekend that’s wide open for you and your child.
  2. Tell her that you are giving her 3 whole hours to do anything she wishes. Here’s the catch: your child has to plan out a detailed schedule, along with specific time frames that outline how she wants to spend her 3 hours.
  3. Brainstorm with your child what an hour is time-wise. How many minutes are in an hour? Provide her with clear examples of what an hour feels like, so she knows how much time she’s dealing with when she schedules the first hour: Does she have an hour-long karate class? Does she have a piano lesson that lasts an hour?
  4. Help your child get a grasp of this task by breaking the day into three separate hour chunks. Then give your child the lined piece of paper. Draw 3 large rectangular boxes on the paper. Tell your child that each box represents one of the three hours you have together.
  5. Tell your child to think of a good starting time. Have her write the starting time at the top of the first box. Ask her what time it will be an hour later. Have your child write this time at the top of the first box as well.
  6. Now your child can plan the first hour! Tell your child that in the first hour you can plan a couple of things, but she has to remember to set aside time for travel, eating, and other transitions. Guide your child with this first hour – she might have some trouble wrapping her head around it. A sample schedule might include a drive to the park (10 minutes), spending some time there (30 minutes), eating a quick breakfast (20 minutes) and before you know it, that first hour is up. Have your child add up all the minutes to see that they equal 60.
  7. Repeat this process with the other two hours! Again, don’t let your little one get too carried away – you can’t make it to Disney World and back in an hour! Always guide your child and help her understand that you need to break down the hour into separate chunks. Always check to see that the minutes she has set aside do indeed add up to 60.
  8. Now look back at your three hour schedule and discuss the following: How much time will be spent in the car during our 3 hours? How much time will we spend outside? How much time will we spend eating? Your child will have to add all the time chunks together to come up with the correct answer--a great lesson in word problem computation.

Give your child a sense of accomplishment by typing her schedule up on the computer. Make multiple copies for all the people who will be enjoying this special day. Hang a copy up in a central place--and then go do that dream day!