As a columnist on Inc.com, I run across all sorts of interesting ideas in the areas of small business and entrepreneurship. A few weeks ago, David Kieve--co-founder and chief marketing officer of Your Comic Story--told me about a project his company is working on: a comic book about entrepreneurship aimed at 8 to 12 year olds.
Says David, "We’re trying to inspire kid entrepreneurs by Kickstarting a comic book, My First Startup, for kids to learn entrepreneurship--on their own terms, in a fun and non-patronizing way. It'll help them develop problem solving skills, creative thinking, managing responsibility, work-life balance (it's never too early for that one), mathematical and analytical skills, and so much more."
I have seen a lot of ideas for getting kids interested in becoming entrepreneurs--some better than others--but I have to say that this is one of the most unique. According to David and his team, the comic book will also be a helpful way for parents to teach kids that there is a great alternative to the traditional, 9-to-5 career, but that if kids want a new bike or doll or other item, parents can use the comic to explain to them that they have the option of earning the money themselves to buy whatever it is they might want.
Whether it's Evan--who at 8 launched EvanTube and makes more than $1 million a year--and of course self-made billionaire Elizabeth Holmes, who dropped out of Stanford at age 19 to devote herself full time to her lab diagnostics company, Theranos, youth may indeed be a big advantage when it comes to being an entrepreneur.
I don't know how many kids will be reached by My First Startup comic, or how many of them will ultimately decide to give entrepreneurship a whirl. But I do know that you've got to start somewhere, and that David Kieve and his company cofounders are passionate about wanting to do everything they can to be sure that kids everywhere will feel empowered and comfortable in the world where running your own business is as welcomed and rewarding as having a traditional job.
[2 weeks later... I just heard from David Kieve and the Kickstarter for My First Startup was fully funded by supporters. So David and his team are going for a stretch goal. Says David, "If we get to $15,000, we'll add more pages to the comic book. Rather than continuing the story, the extra pages will provide practical guides for kids on key issues in starting a first business, like 'what type of business to start,' 'what additional costs to expect,' and more."]