Starting a business is a challenge at any age, and kidpreneurs face a unique set of obstacles. If you have a child with entrepreneurial aspirations in your classroom or at home, it can be tough to know how to support them. This month, we’re asking kidpreneurs’ biggest fans – their parents and teachers – to share their tips for supporting biz-minded loved ones.
This month, we’re celebrating inspirational, young go-getters who are making real change in their communities. And with youth entrepreneurship on the rise, we have a lot of celebrating to do!
In the U.S., studies suggest that Gen Z, ages 10 – 25 years, is poised to be the most entrepreneurial generation ever, and it’s easy to see why — they are self-starters who aren’t afraid to take chances and go after the causes they care about. But as any successful entrepreneur will attest, a strong support system can make all the difference when it comes to achieving your goals.
To get the inside scoop on what it takes to nurture an aspiring kidpreneur, we connected with Veronica Robinson, mom and chief supporter of MasterChef Junior finalist, Evan Robinson, to get her first-hand advice. At just 13 years old, Veronica’s son has accomplished more in his budding career than most chefs will in a lifetime. He’s competed on national television as a contestant in the fifth season of Fox network’s MasterChef Junior, has cooked with celebrity chefs such as Chicago’s Rick Bayless, and regularly puts his skills to work helping others, including baking and selling pies to support hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
If you know a young entrepreneur who’s helping to change the way kids eat, or a school business program with this focus, submit a video about their business for the chance to win cash prizes totaling $5,000. Learn more about our #WholeKidsBiz sweepstakes.
A Q&A with Veronica Robinson
How have you inspired or encouraged your child to follow his entrepreneurial dreams?
I am a big supporter of my kid’s ideas. I never push, but always try to encourage. I watch and let him lead. When he shows motivation and puts in the extra effort, I stand behind and support.
Why was this important to you and to Evan?
It is important for it to be his idea, not mine. I love his creativity. Plus, if it’s his idea I’m not forcing him to do it.
What were some of the biggest obstacles that you as a parent faced in supporting your child’s entrepreneurial spirit?
Because he forged a different path, he was bullied. Crazy enough, it was mainly by adults. Teaching him to be strong in the face of adversity was really hard. So, now he’s a pretty resilient kid and very confident in his abilities.
As a parent, what have you learned through this experience?
Kids know what they want to do. If they are persistent, then they will see it through until the end.
If you had a do-over, what would that be?
I wouldn’t. I think if I did it over, the outcome would be different, and I wouldn’t want that.
What advice would you give other parents to help support their young entrepreneurs?
Listen to your kids. They think through things differently than adults. They have some cool ideas.
To Evan: How has it impacted you to have your parents support you like this?
Support is everything. It’s really important when doing big things, but even more important when doing small stuff. My parents have been unconditionally supportive through everything which has been amazing.
Check back throughout the month for more Q&As from parents and mentors who are supporting passionate kidprenuers. If you know a young entrepreneur who is changing the way kids eat through gardening, plant-forward cooking or healthy eating, enter the #WholeKidsBiz sweepstakes March 18 - April 15 for a chance to win up to $5,000 in prizes to support their venture!