Any other business

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How touching. And how misguided.

3 Mins

It’s so American. You take a good idea, sugar-coat it, take away the challenge and feed it to children.

Loren Steyer (male), a realtor from Fairmont, Minnesota, has come up with the idea for Young Entrepreneur Day. A day when local children can really come to grips with what it means to be an entrepreneur.

“They can set up booths, sell their products and learn how to be entrepreneurs,” says Steyer. “Though,” he adds, “Most people don’t know what that means.”

Oh? Do they not? Then what’s the point of calling it Young Entrepreneur Day? Why not call it what it is. A wholesome Bake Day. Or the Fairmont Fete?

Obviously there’s no IQ pre-requisite for getting involved here. A* students need not apply.

Kids of all ages (5-19) from the fair town are congregating in the local mall on the 19th April to have a stab at this entrepreneur lark. Steyer has struck a deal with the Five Lakes Cetre to give the children free booth spaces to sell their wares from 5pm.

So what will children learn from this event? Well, firstly, in typical PC-style, all the Five Lakes Elementary School children are welcome to participate. Zero barriers to entry? Hardly representative of the challenges in breaking a new market?

There was a deadline for applications. But Marjorie Dollen, the marketing director at the mall, doesn’t want to be too strict about the deadline. Well, you wouldn’t want to teach young people about the importance of punctuality would you, Marjorie?

Steyer’s daughters are selling their pencil drawings, some other girl is making denim bags. Other kids are making jewellery. And of course, there will be that American stalwart: the lemonade stand. But hilariously, in the fine print, the mall has placed some restrictions in place: “Some restrictions on food items are required due to liability”.

– Children, do have a pop at being an entrepreneur, but please don’t poison our customers with your dirty little mitts, m’kay?

Excuse me if I don’t believe this little exercise will churn out James Murray Wells’ and Fraser Dohertys galore. Now, if these bambinos were getting their applications in on time, producing business plans, and working out the profit on every item so they can pay their parents back for the cookie dough, then, and only then, could you feasibly call this event, “Young Entrepreneur Day”.

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