Fifteen lucky entrepreneurs not only got to meet Warren Buffett recently, they also received much-coveted shares of his company Berkshire Hathaway. Not bad for a bunch of grade-schoolers.
Buffett awarded $13,000 worth of Class B shares, which closed Friday at $84.44, to school children ages 7-16 for their achievements at the “Grow Your Own Business Challenge” which took place earlier this year. The challenge was an extension of an animated series featuring Buffett called the “Secret Millionaires Club.” Both the series and the challenge encourage young people to get involved in business and learn good financial habits--personally and professionally.
The participants in the challenge presented business plans to judges who, according a CNNMoney report, also took into account each plan’s charitable extension. One group from Queens submitted a business plan to deliver healthy snacks to schools in its area. Another winner, 10-year-old Aria Eppinger, presented a plan to sell equipment to make animated t-shirts. Eppinger, a Pittsburgh native, told CNNMoney that she donated some of her winnings to a food bank, a school, and an animal rescue center in her area.
The 15 finalists all received cash prizes on top of 10 shares each of the Berkshire stock. While most of the winners are donating some of the cash, many of the children say they plan to hold on to their stock.
"It's a special stock,” first-time stockowner Eppinger told CNNMoney. "It's fun to just check on the price. It's not like I check it every five minutes, maybe every other day or once a week."
According to the Associated Press, the $13,000 stock gift was part of $1.9 billion worth of shares Buffett doled out recently to various organizations as part of his ongoing pledge to donate 99% of his wealth to charity. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation received the biggest award at 18.4 million shares.