Gifting to the Children We Love – Part IV

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The key to business success is in learning how to provide a useful product or service at a competitive price while covering costs. For many children, their first opportunities to make money come from helping neighbors with household chores. This includes everything from babysitting to household repairs.

In order to convert these opportunities into a “business” that they can do after school or in the summer, children sometimes need help funding basic tools.


  • Gardening and Landscaping: Gifting or loaning a lawn mower, weed-eater, and other tools useful to lawn and gardening services could help children create their own business to generate income at a relatively young age.
  • Apprenticeships: Working for a local company provides a child with lessons about issues one is likely to encounter in running a business. If members of the local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, or business community were so inclined, they could provide a rich learning experience through a community-wide apprenticeship program in which the community’s young people would rotate through a variety of small businesses.

  • Classes: Classes on accounting, tax preparation, and small-business law are widely available at local technology schools and trade schools and at community colleges. Such classes can open up future employment or entrepreneurship opportunities for teenagers and young people and provide them with inspiration and a leg up for higher-level business school at a later date, if they choose that route. There is no need to wait until college or graduate school for children to be introduced to these skills.
  • Equity investment or loan: Rather than funding the lawn mower or tools in the form of a gift, an adult’s contribution to a youngster’s business could be structured as an equity investment or loan to help the child learn about business finance. I have an aunt whose father was a farmer. He would make loans to her and her brother at the start of the growing season for funding their seeds and equipment to plant their own acre. They had to work out all the mathematics of the planting, growing, and harvesting, as well as the loan calculations. My aunt has never forgotten these first lessons in entrepreneurship, and the dangers of assuming that debt can be paid back from variable income that is subject to the risks of unpredictable weather and commodity prices.

Read the full article here.