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 Northhampton, MA · Facebook · Evanescence


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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