We do­nate prof­its to help find a cure for mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

emon­ade stands, house­hold chores and burger flip­ping at McDon­alds used to be the only ways kids and teens could earn a buck.

But a new gen­er­a­tion of tech-savvy school­child­ren are creat­ing mini em­pires from the com­fort of their bed­rooms.

Of­fer­ing a plat­form for busi­nesses rang­ing from de­liv­ery ser­vices to fash­ion and beauty brands, the in­ter­net has opened up a whole new rev­enue stream for youths and more and more are now jug­gling on­line busi­nesses with home­work and af­ter-school sport.

A re­cent re­port by ac­count­ing soft­ware com­pany Xero found 90 per cent of pri­mary and high school-aged kids wanted to be their own boss when they grew up.

The statis­tic re­flects the aware­ness that young peo­ple have of the rapidly chang­ing job mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to Lacey Filipich, di­rec­tor of Money School.

“I think there’s a ten­dency to­wards the ‘gig econ­omy’,” she says, re­fer­ring to the grow­ing trend where com­pa­nies hire in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors as op­posed to full-time em­ploy­ees.

“Kids know they’re go­ing to have to act like en­trepreneurs from the get-go and are not go­ing to have an in­tern­ship some­where for five years and then that same job; they un­der­stand they’re go­ing to have to chase their own work.”

Is­abella Dy­malovski is one of the thousands of teens jug­gling a busi­ness and home­work. When she’s not study­ing for ex­ams, the 15year-old is de­vel­op­ing prod­ucts and work­ing on grow­ing her Luv Ur Skin beauty em­pire, which she founded in 2014. The brand is now stocked at Price­line and has a global fan club thanks to its on­line store.

Is­abella says run­ning a busi­ness through­out her early teens has been tough but the re­wards have made it worth­while.

“It has led to some pretty crazy and fun Nathan Woodrow of Ryde Cloth­ing. ex­pe­ri­ences,” she says. “I can of­fi­cially say that I’ve missed a day of school to spon­sor a fash­ion show in Syd­ney and that at the end of the year I was able to do my English exam and quickly run off after­wards to speak at an event with Cricket Vic­to­ria.”

Syd­ney teen Juli­ette Jones is an­other driven teen busi­ness owner who has taken the idea of tra­di­tional road­side le­mon­ade stands into the dig­i­tal age.

The 15-year-old launched CSJ leMoNaiD, a com­pany that sells bot­tled le­mon­ade on­line, at the age of 11 af­ter the death of her grand­fa­ther from mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease. She has since raised thousands of dol­lars for MND re­search from drink sales.

“My com­pany do­nates 100 per cent of the prof­its to Mac­quarie Univer­sity for re­search, to help find a cure for MND,” Juli­ette says.

The Kog­a­rah res­i­dent hopes to ex­pand her busi­ness into a fran­chise model and en­cour­age other chil­dren to on­sell the le­mon­ade.

Mum Clau­dia Frasca-Jones says the time and en­ergy in­volved in help­ing to build the busi­ness was dif­fi­cult but says both she and Juli­ette have learned so much from the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for them to learn by do­ing and to feel em­pow­ered, which in my book is al­ways a good thing,” she says. “Kids also see things from a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive and I’ve learned so much about my­self from help­ing Juli­ette in her pur­suit.”

When it comes to sell­ing plat­forms, Etsy has be­come one of the big­gest launch pads for the bud­ding busi­ness kid. The on­line mar­ket­place — which pre­dom­i­nantly fea­tures handmade arts and crafts, knick-knacks and vin­tage items — has be­come a pop­u­lar op­tion for young­sters want­ing to turn their creative hob­bies into an in­come stream.

“I work with one kid-preneur who makes lip balms, and lip balms are re­ally small, so it makes them very cheap to post and she can pass on the cost of postage to clients be­cause Etsy is set up that way,” says Lacey Filipich. “She now has clients all over Aus­tralia, so there’s a much big­ger reach than if she was just sell­ing at a lo­cal mar­ket, for ex­am­ple.”

Af­fir­ma­tion cards, pot­ted suc­cu­lents and handmade jew­ellery are some of the pop­u­lar op­tions for kids to sell through the plat­form, which now has 54 mil­lion mem­bers.

One Acorn founder Jar­rad Dober runs hol­i­day work­shops teach­ing chil­dren how to be­come en­trepreneurs. He be­lieves schools should be bet­ter equip­ping kids with busi­ness skills to pre­pare them for the chang­ing ca­reer en­vi­ron­ment.

“Schools are great at pre­par­ing kids for be­ing em­ploy­ees,” he ex­plains. “They go to school in the morn­ing, have a lunch break, and clock off in the af­ter­noon, but they’re not learn­ing the skills they need to be job cre­ators. It needs to be­come part of the cur­ricu­lum.”

While the in­ter­net has made launch­ing a le­git­i­mate busi­ness much eas­ier for kids and teens, ac­tu­ally run­ning them and mak­ing a profit can be ex­tremely tough. And while fewer par­ents now have to spend every Sun­day ac­com­pa­ny­ing their child to the lo­cal craft mar­ket, sup­port­ing your bud­ding en­tre­pre­neur child has its chal­lenges.

It’s not easy watch­ing them miss out on fun pas­times in or­der to up­date web­sites or ar­range postage or make zero sales.

“It’s re­ally hard as a par­ent to let your child fail,” Filipich says.

“But that’s why its so im­por­tant not to cre­ate a whole busi­ness and mas­sive amount of prod­uct un­less you’ve got mar­ket con­fir­ma­tion that peo­ple will want to buy it, and not just

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