7 ways to encourage your child’s entrepreneurial spirit
Those with an entrepreneurial spirit are often able to think creatively, take risks and be resilient in the face of failure – all values that are desirable both in and out of the workplace. With this in mind, we asked the team behind Careermap to outline seven ways parents can support their child's inner entrepreneur.
1. Encourage creativity
The ability to think creatively is essential for entrepreneurs. Encourage your child's imagination by providing them with opportunities to explore new ideas and express themselves. This could include activities such as drawing, painting, writing stories, or even building things with blocks or LEGO. You could also take them to see plays, museums or other cultural events that might inspire their creativity.
2. Foster independence
Entrepreneurs need to be self-starters who can take initiative and work independently. Encourage your child's independence by giving them responsibilities around the house or allowing them to make their own decisions about certain things. This could include choosing what clothes to wear or deciding what to have for breakfast. It's important to give them room to make mistakes and learn from them, too.
3. Teach financial responsibility
Entrepreneurship often involves managing money and making sound financial decisions. Teach your child financial responsibility by giving them an allowance and helping them to set a budget. Talk to them about saving money and making smart purchasing decisions. You could even encourage them to start their own small business, such as selling lemonade or homemade crafts, to earn extra money and learn about entrepreneurship first-hand.
4. Encourage a strong work ethic
Hard work and commitment are integral attributes to nurture in any future successful entrepreneur. Instil a strong work ethic in your child by setting expectations for chores and homework. Encourage them to take on additional responsibilities and to always do their best. You could also talk to them about the value of persistence and not giving up in the face of obstacles.
5. Cultivate resilience
The pursuit of entrepreneurship can be a tough road, and setbacks are inevitable. It's important for entrepreneurs to be resilient and bounce back from failures. Teach your child resilience by helping them to develop coping strategies for dealing with stress and disappointment. Encourage them to see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Praise them for their efforts, not just their successes.
6. Foster a growth mindset
Entrepreneurs need to be lifelong learners who are always looking for ways to improve. Foster a growth mindset in your child by encouraging them to try new things and take on challenges. Also, teach them to seek out new experiences and take risks, so that they’re always pushing themselves to learn and grow.
7. Provide mentoring and networking opportunities
Entrepreneurship is often a team effort, although is it occasionally mistaken for an entirely solo path. Having a strong network of mentors and peers can be invaluable. As they get older, provide your child with mentoring and networking opportunities by connecting them with like-minded entrepreneurs or other professionals who can offer guidance and support. Encourage them to attend entrepreneurship events or join clubs or organisations related to their interests.
- Try finding out what mentoring and career-building activities are available through their school.
- Schools often invite interesting people who are top of their fields to speak to the children. You could chat with your child about what questions to ask to get the most out of the experience.
- Social media can be really helpful for networking – with careful adult guidance and supervision, you can support your child by showing them posts and profiles by those who are well connected in their industry, and keeping an eye out for opportunities on trustworthy platforms.
- You can help your child write an email or letter to local entrepreneurs and business owners etc.
- If you have any family or friends who have jobs which are similar to your child’s ambitions, reach out to see if they could help by offering work experience or advice on how to break into their industry.