There’s one surefire way to ensure we speed up the rate of social innovation in our society, by getting the next generation started early. How early you might ask?
My guest on the podcast today is Braden Ricketts, co-founder of Build a Biz Kids, and their programs start for kids as young as age seven. Build a Biz Kids is teaching entrepreneurship, and more importantly, all the soft-skills associated with it, to kids. Their mission is “Kids Taking Action”, and in the words of Braden, challenging them, not just cheerleading.
In November, I also had the pleasure of going to one of their “Market Days”, which you’ll hear all about in this episode, and was blown away at what some of these kids had accomplished! I wasn’t just impressed by the products they created, but the understanding of a value proposition, a sales pitch, and merchandising. Who knows if they knew these specific terms, but they embodied them and understood what to do to get me to buy their stuff!
The first thing I said, which everyone says when they hear about this is, “I wish I had this when I was a kid”. It’s shocking that more initiatives like this don’t exist, and I’m thrilled that Braden, along with his partner Leah Coss, has taken this on. My daughters will be in something like this for sure in a couple of years.
If you’re in British Columbia, I highly recommend checking out one of their market days, and if you have kids, take them! My daughter loved it.
About Braden Ricketts
Braden Ricketts is out to make a difference in everything he does. He has a long history at the YWCA for over a decade, as a career advisor and project manager, is formally trained as a life coach, is a COO of a podcast company AmplifYou, and is the co-founder and vice president of Build a Biz Kids.
About Build a Biz Kids
Build a Biz Kids, a Registered Non-Profit Society, who is dedicated to the future of youth and the world they need to prepare for. They offer supplementary programming to students across the Lower Mainland in BC, Canada. Donors also help to subsidize children & youth from At-Risk, Indigenous & Refugee communities. To them, it’s not what their students do while in the programming, but what they take on, with their newfound confidence, afterward.
Everything We Talked About in This Episode
[2:47] Why Braden, and Co-founder Leah chose to teach entrepreneurship to kids
[3:57] Where Braden’s mission-driven mindset, and giving back started for him
[5:18] Braden’s hesitation to be an entrepreneur, settling for comfort
[7:41] The problem with other young entrepreneur programs being tied to teachers, and reliant on their leadership to bring it in the classroom
[8:40] Reference to support from Tressa Wood, 1-800-Got-Junk, and Men In Kilts, Young Entrepreneur Learning Labs, LinkedIn
[9:11] The difficulty in teaching people skills like perseverance, problem-solving, and confidence, and the role entrepreneurship plays
[10:58] Why they started this as a nonprofit organization
[12:15] The importance of leveraging partnerships, particularly with the school system
[13:30] The parents are usually driving the initial interest, wishing they had it when they were a kid
[14:34] How it all comes together for the kids in a real-world “Market Day”
[17:00] Kids are not getting the experiences they used to with science fairs, presentations, and door-to-door fundraising
[18:30] What does a curriculum look like for teaching entrepreneurship to kids?
[19:52] Teaching Financial literacy, social entrepreneurship, and philanthropy at the same time
[26:29] What Braden would say to a traditional business to encourage more social impact
[27:25] Reference to Tentree, a local fashion brand with social impact
[28:11] Avoiding technology allows a focus on why they’re learning the fundamental, not the tool
[31:28] What would Braden change about the current education system
[32:42] Teaching soft skills to make kids future proof in a fast-changing landscape
[33:37] Reference to Yuval Noah Harari, author of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
[35:19] The types of products and businesses these kids are creating
[38:00] Emphasis on skill developer and what kids are doing after the program, not during
[40:11] Next steps for Build A Biz Kids, expanding locations, working on next age range programs
[42:13] Braden’s advice to other educators and nonprofit founders