Youth in today’s school system are taught to trade in the creative for analytical, and imagination for memorization. For young entrepreneurs, it can be challenging to find resources that actually encourage them to explore, to try, fail, and create. In this interview you will learn about a program for young entrepreneurs that has children, parents, educators, and celebrities raving about its success.
You’ll meet Chrissy Steed, a lifelong entrepreneur, author, producer of a TV show, and creator of the Just 4U KiddiePreneur program, curriculum and expo weekend. Chrissy is empowering young entrepreneurs across the nation with the knowledge and tools to explore their business ideas and tap into inner creativity. She shares her passion, as well as insights and innovations in the following interview.
Chad T. Collins: I’m here today with Chrissy Steed of Just 4 U KiddiePreneur. Chrissy is a life long entrepreneur, author, educator, creator of a TV show, and doing absolutely incredible things with Generation Z youth to help create and encourage entrepreneurship and her goal of reaching 1 Million KiddiePreneurs.
Please take a moment to tell us a little bit about who specifically it is that you help and what you do for them.
Chrissy Steed: Excellent. Once again, my name is Chrissy and I’m the founder of KiddiePreneur. This program that I founded helps children from the fifth grade and up through high school. It also trains and gives children the skill sets to be successful entrepreneurs.
Chad T. Collins: Fantastic. How did you develop your passion for youth entrepreneurship?
Chrissy Steed: When I was 14, I had my own dance program. It was a program that I founded and I taught youth throughout my city ballet and hip hop and all sorts of dance movements. That’s where my passion stemmed from. I knew that not only did I want to help other people, but I always had this passion for business. I’ve always been very business minded – wanting to start new opportunities and do new things. Those roots gravitated towards the business sector and I’ve been in it ever since.
Chad T. Collins: It’s great you felt that passion from such a young age. Were there any resources or tools available to you back then to provide guidance?
Chrissy Steed: There was absolutely, none. When I say, none, I mean zip, zero, nada. There were no tools available back then to even spark my interest in business. Being that I was so interested in an area where there was no resources available, I knew for a fact that this is the arena that I wanted to touch base in and to continue with. With the KiddiePreneur program, I knew that there were other children and families out there interested in learning about businesses, but there are no tools out there to assist them and make wise choices learning about business development and all the things that’s needed to really bring together a fulfilled and a great business model.
Chad T. Collins: You truly are the definition of an entrepreneur. You found a need and you filled it. What are the different divisions of KiddiePreneur?
Chrissy Steed: Under the Just 4 U KiddiePreneur program there are a few facets. First, I am the author of the KiddiePreneur In You book, which received rave reviews from parents, educators, children from in the community, and celebrities who’ve read the book. Everyone seems to really be receptive to the book and what it entails.
Second, the book actually is a part of the KiddiePreneur education curriculum. So in the program not only will the children receive the KiddiePreneur book, they will also receive a workbook. The curriculum within the workbook goes through different modules to help students learn about the business process.
Third, we developed the KiddiePreneur In You TV show. The show follows five children on their entrepreneurial quest. This entails all they go through (playing on the playground, getting ready for school, collaborating on different business ideas, working in their different businesses like a lemonade stand and fashion design company. You’d be amazed at how many great ideas come up on the playground.
Lastly, there is the KiddiePreneur In You Weekend. This entails bringing together all the KiddiePreneurs, whether you’re brand spanking new or whether you’re a veteran in the field. We bring everyone together and we celebrate KiddiePreneurs and young entrepreneurs. We bring in celebrities that want to be involved and it’s a great time for all that participate.
Chad T. Collins: What you’re doing is great. I have not heard of anything like that before. To be a young entrepreneur they’ve got to successful traits like grit, perseverance, passion, patience and creativity. Those traits aren’t subjects they teach in schools. They are skills that they have to either have instilled in them naturally or have drawn out of them. I think that there’s a lot of entrepreneur in a lot of youth that just don’t know it yet. That they haven’t been reached in that way yet. I think you’ve found a few great ways, your niche, to really draw that out of them. You’ve done it in a fun and exciting way that makes learning about business exciting!
Chrissy Steed: I feel that when children are dedicated and they’re passionate about something and they’re able to actually act on it, they supersede their expectations. You may have children who may not be pros or gurus in science and math, but when they’re able to explore their own ideas, the sky’s the limit.
Chad T. Collins: You have a goal to reach 1 Million Kiddiepreneurs. How is the KiddiePreneur program delivered to students, and their parents?
Chrissy Steed: There are two different components to the curriculum. Parents are able to go onto our website, www.KiddiePreneur.com, and purchase the curriculum. That’s great for home-schoolers or parents who, if they can’t get the curriculum through their school system, can go onto our website and they can purchase the curriculum, which includes the book, the workbook, and they get resources through e-mail.
It is a six week program.
Children and their parents are able to learn about the KiddiePreneur program, go through the modules, and then present their product as a pitch program. They’re pitching their business model to us for funding. Once they complete the training, they present. They record a YouTube video and they send us the link and then we present the winners with funding at the KiddiePreneur Weekend. That’s one component of it.
Then the second component is actually working with community organizations as well as educational institutions and they can purchase the curriculum from us and distribute it to their school districts. Then those children also have the same opportunity to pitch their business model to us and hopefully win our pitch program. Once again, they’re presented with recognition awards, as well as the pitch winner, which is a cash prize to continue and fund their business, awarded during KiddiePreneur Weekend. KiddiePreneur Weekend is actually a national holiday!