SEATTLE - Most kids say they want to grow up to be a baseball player, firefighter or doctor. Not so many announce plans to be a CEO. A pair of Northwest entrepreneurs want to change that. They have come with a fun way to introduce kids to business world skills -- Venture Kits.
What do you get when you let a bunch of kids loose in the kitchen with a big bowl of chocolate and a bag of pretzels?
If you guessed a mess.... you’re only half right.
Leslie Feinzaig says with her educational toys, Venture Kits, you're also training future entrepreneurs.
“I like to think of the learning in Venture Kits as the hidden broccoli I put in brownies,” said Feinzaig. “We hide lessons, but the kids don't even realize they're learning because they're just having so much fun.”
Each venture kit comes in a colorful box -- there’s Art Auction, Talent Show and, Treats To Go --which teaches kids how to start a baking business.
Step one: make a menu.
Step two: calculate recipe cost.
Step three: market research.
“The kids follow the venture plans step by step instructions to teach the kind of business skills all entrepreneurs need,” said Feinzaig. “What we're really trying to do here is get kids to open up and go out in the world and not being afraid of trying something new even if it’s scary, even if they fail. The worst that can happen is that they try again.”
As a Harvard MBA who's held leadership roles throughout Seattle, Leslie knows what it takes to be a business leader, but it's her role as mom to Dora that inspired Venture Kits.
“I believe all babies are born with a natural entrepreneurial instinct,” said Feinzaig. “I see my daughter trying to learn how to walk and she learns like an entrepreneur. She gets up. She walks three steps. She falls on her butt and then she tries again.”
The chocolate covered pretzels are ready for delivery and what might have seemed like a game of make-believe actually results in real money.
Startup veteran Marguerite Svendesen likes what she's seen so much, she's joined Venture Kits.
“I want my 6-year-old to develop the same skills that I have to use every single day as an entrepreneur,” said Svendesen. “Things like taking initiative and building resiliency, figuring out how to solve problems, and we hope to make this just a fun way to go about that.”
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