Daily Express

Meet the lockdown kid-preneurs

From selling slime and antiques to setting up an inspiratio­nal book club, these enterprisi­ng youngsters have turned their dreams into a successful business.

- Here they tell Debbi Marco what inspired them


Kirsten Mbawa, 13, and her 11-year-old sister Aiyven from Northampto­n set up children’s book subscripti­on service Happier Every Chapter (mbawabooks.co.uk) last November

AIYVEN SAYS: We came up with the idea of the subscripti­on box because of the hard time everyone was having and we thought it would make it better.

We launched our first box in November 2020. We spend time each month going through websites, finding cool accessorie­s to put in our box with the books.

We’ve managed to learn things we wouldn’t normally learn at school, like how to schedule posts on Facebook. Mum and dad, who are both IT consultant­s, have helped us a lot. They gave us £200 and with that we had to buy the boxes as well as things to go in them. Each month we have a massive session putting the boxes together. Then we walk to the Post Office and send them off. It’s really nice that mum and dad aren’t doing all the work. I would say to others to make a plan and make a list so everything is organised.

KIRSTEN SAYS: We include two books in each subscripti­on box and make sure one is from an author from an ethnically diverse background. We also write our own short stories to put in and add some treats like journals, rubbers or bookmarks.

For our first box we had the theme of diverse mysteries and included High-Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson. We also did an interview with her for our Facebook page.

We often want to buy lots of things for the box as we want people to be really excited, but m um always has to remind us we have a limit. Right now we have 20 subscriber­s and we get six to seven more every month. It’s growing slowly but surely, which is really good to see.

My advice to others is know what you’re getting into – running a business is harder than it sounds. And do something that you like. MUM NDAH SAYS: We are beyond proud of the girls. We do help them with the financial side of the business but we try to teach them too. It has really lifted our lockdown and there’s never a dull moment – plus they’re learning so much.

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