Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Teaching Kids Entepreneurship Risk With a Doll

How many of you had any idea about starting your own business till at least high school? And how many of you followed that dream? Not many, for sure.
The fact that children thought so rarely about being entrepreneurs was also the drive of American Girl company to create a doll that can teach children the basic notions of starting their own business and transform their dreams into reality.

Grace Thomas doll and her bakery set

The story of Grace Thomas starts with a passion for baking with and for friends. After a trip to Paris she is inspired to transform her passion into a successful business. Her path follows the usual financial and bureaucratic procedures for registering the new “La Patisserie” simplified for the little ones.
The idea came naturally as a result of the high interest in stories about girls doing business. Cited by the Wall Street Journal, Julia Prohaska, senior director of global brand marketing for American Girl, also declared that “Marrying the idea of girls’ high interest in baking and cooking with entrepreneurship was just a natural fit.”

Besides the beauty of learning through games, the American Girls doll approached a real problem of the new generations: the low tolerance for risk. “We are creating generations of people who are terrified to make a mistake,” says Ted Ganchiff for Wall Street Journal, founder of the Science & Entrepreneurship Exchange, a Chicago-based nonprofit that runs classes about engineering and entrepreneurship for children between 9 and 15.

The so-called “Millennials” dramatically decreased the percentage of young people starting a business. “Only 3.6% of businesses today are started by people younger than 30. In 1989, it was 10.6%.” shows the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances cited by WSJ.
In addition, the gap between women and men entrepreneurs is still wide with around 200 000 business a month in the last five years started by women, compared to 325 000 started by men, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit in Kansas City.

Putting aside the great educational intentions, Grace Thomas is a $120 doll, the 2015 American Girl character, following the company’s tradition of releasing a special doll that can draw children's attention from traditional toys every year since 2005. Compared with the Barbie entrepreneur, priced $12.99, Grace Thomas is no bargain for a tight budget real entrepreneur, as the accessories, the business bakery and the make-believe ingredients, sell for $500.

Photo source.