Most kids' entrepreneurial experience ends at a neighborhood lemonade stand, but that's not the same for Samaira Mehta. She's the CEO of CoderBunnyz, a board game that teaches children how to code.
The best part? She's only 10. But, don't let her age fool you. This is one miniature business founder who knows how to play the business game and she has some valuable lessons for anyone who wants their child to be more entrepreneurial.
Let's take a look at four of them.
1. You're never too young to start a business.
At the age when many kids are watching unboxing videos and dreaming about owning the toys inside, Mehta is the top dog (or top pup in this case) of CoderBunnyz and a public speaker around Silicon Valley, too.
I'm a fan of getting children started early on their own business ventures. While a lemonade stand is good (although you may want to check to make sure you have your proper permits), there are other ways you can introduce kids to business.
Both of my sons are on that track currently, with one having written and marketed a children's book for charity and the other having started a nonprofit to help get more children involved in charitable work. Even small people can think big.
2. Charity is a fantastic way to teach entrepreneurialism.
Speaking of charity, kids love helping other people, which makes charity a fantastic way of teaching entrepreneurialism to youngsters. In Mehta's case, she launched an initiative called Yes, 1 Billion Kids Can Code where people could buy CoderBunnyz and donate it to a school of their choice. Mehta would then visit the school and conduct a coding workshop there with the kids.
For my boys, charitable work was a great gateway to entrepreneurialism. Posed with the question of how to help as many people as possible with limited resources, one of my sons hit on the idea to break a world record with cereal boxes, collecting food and publicity for his endeavor. If you want to teach your kids about business, start with the business of helping others.
3. Learning is much easier if it's fun.
As anyone who has tried to teach anything to another person can tell you, it's easier if you can make it fun. Mehta did it with a board game and my son did it with his world record. But, this doesn't just hold true for kids. Even if you are teaching adults, making it fun makes it stick in their brains longer.
If you want kids to soak up what they can about business, you could try to find some way to make a game out of making money.
4. A little inspiration goes a long way.
Mehta, in a video produced by the makers of The Powerpuff Girls cartoon, says she is inspired by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and former first lady Michelle Obama, as they both encourage girls to strive for excellence.
The CoderBunnyz CEO also became an inspiration herself when she was featured in the aforementioned video that featured real life "Powerpuff Girls" that help inspire other girls. She was featured in the video series after winning $2,500 for second place at Think Tank Learning's Pitchfest in 2016. Not bad for someone who was eight at the time.
My sons count people like Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Airbnb co-founder Joe Gabbia among the people who inspire and influence them to be great. (I'm probably also somewhere on the list if you go down far enough.)
While superheroes might look fun flying around on the big screen, I believe it's important to also let your kids know who the real superheroes are so they can find inspiration grounded in reality.
Ultimately, I think we can all be inspired by Mehta. By doing some good in the world and being a role model to others, she has shown that age is really just a number and being young shouldn't preclude you from accomplishing what you want-- which is maybe the best lesson of all to pass along to your children.