8yo has to start business - alone

(57 Posts)
notimetoshop Sat 13-Oct-12 23:23:55

I almost put this on aibu but....
My Y3 is doing some entrepreneur education, to raise money for charity.
So far, fine.
But she has been given £1 and told to go away and do it.
I was 'well the school will set up little stalls for you and invite parents in' etc. But no. They are expected to go and invest the money (£1?) and bring back a return. Apart from telling us it's probably not a good idea to start selling stuff on high street and 'try and include people outside family' that's really it.
I'm thinking well I'll just have to make cakes and sell them at work - but I can't see how that's going to be v educational for her at all. What would you do?

smalltown Sat 13-Oct-12 23:27:08

buying & sellling drugs
pyramid scheme

Buy car washing stuff from £shop & set up a carwashing business?

notimetoshop Sat 13-Oct-12 23:29:45

But where would we wash the cars? I suppose could ask the school if could use their car park. But they seem v unwilling to use premises. I think that's a brilliant idea if they would though. Cheers.

I thought of selling all the piles of junk used toys on Ebay.

Runningblue Sat 13-Oct-12 23:30:44

Make lavender bags/ orange pomanders (oranges stuck with cloves) /biscuits with £1 investment then her sell outside the house, or with your prior warning to them, sell to neighbours, relatives etc?

ProphetOfDoom Sat 13-Oct-12 23:33:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Runningblue Sat 13-Oct-12 23:33:15

If you did the car washing, couldn't you just do it with people in your street- with prior arrangement so dd is safe and happy?

bluebean Sat 13-Oct-12 23:36:26

Sounds like Tyco, maybe their site will have some ideas. Last year some 10yr olds turned their £1 in to £9,000, apparently.

smalltown Sat 13-Oct-12 23:38:06

You are going to have to pester your neighbours, and family and their neighbours smile
It's all practice for when they need to raise funds for gap year trips.

Maybe not carwashing in October, but something else she can make/do/sell with very little start up costs.
Like making birthday cards.
Another one I've seen for gap year jaunt is sweet or marshmallow kebabs sold at ridiculously overinflated prices, with a twee little label teling you what binge drinking fest life changing good works they will be doing. Ask local shops/offices/ businesses if she can leave a basket with her product & honesty box in their premises.

Runningblue Sat 13-Oct-12 23:38:47

Bob a job week style activities ? I don't think it sound unreasonable btw- quite good fun!

bluebean Sat 13-Oct-12 23:40:26

Sorry, it's called Micro Tyco. Hope the link's ok, on phone.

notimetoshop Sat 13-Oct-12 23:41:39

Schmaltzing - yes. My first thought, not voiced, was £1 - that's a lottery ticket.... mind, what if we won? I can imagine the righteous tones insisting we gave all £100m to school...

Runningblue - they are EXACTLY the kind of ideas the school is thinking of. and EXACTLY the kind of thing which simple if you have a quiet street with off-street parking and / or relatives nearby. But we don't.

I think I'm just going to end up ringing round the other parents and asking us all to swap money around. I think I'd be much happier if the school just organised it. They do a mother's day shop eg. Why not do an entrepreneur day shop and we all send kids in with a bit of money?


notimetoshop Sat 13-Oct-12 23:47:57

Ah, it's not micro tyco, but that looks brilliant. Cheers
Smalltown, thanks for that. This is the problem, the actual selling. How do they expect us to sell stuff when we're at work. But the honesty box idea is good - that's the kind of thing I was thinking to do at work. I'm sure some of the local shops (mind most of our high street is coffee shops / charity shops (ummm)) might go for it.
I don't think the whole entrepreneurship thing is such a bad idea - but just feel it's a bit much to do ask 7 and 8yo to do it at home ie. ask parents to do it.

Runningblue Sat 13-Oct-12 23:48:41

It sounds like they're being a bit blue sky then! Could dd ask to sell whatever she makes in school playtime for example, with your valid reason above as justification?
IMO has to be a middle ground put forward by school for kids not living in a quiet cul de sac...
Is there any where else she can do it? At a club she attends? At your work via an order form she's designed?

seeker Sat 13-Oct-12 23:52:45

" I think I'd be much happier if the school just organised it."

It would defeat the object rather!

notimetoshop Sat 13-Oct-12 23:56:21

DD pointed out to me that as children don't bring money to school there was no point selling stuff at school - which was a good point. Hence my frustration that the school isn't helping them more to do this. I think we'll have to try at my office. The ideas are great though, thanks to everyone. I think I'll have another go at the school as well about letting things go on, on school premises.

Runningblue Sat 13-Oct-12 23:59:38

Re the school, it's closeish to Christmas, could you suggest an after school bazaar for the entrepreneurship project so kids can bring money and parents can maybe come too, to buy and see all the ideas?

notimetoshop Sun 14-Oct-12 00:01:44

seeker - I don't mean the school organised the money-raising (although they are for the younger ones). I meant the school organised the ability to money raise. The examples on teh micro-tyro site, the children are working in groups. Not alone. They go and ask the local church or local business with an idea - well I assume they do this in working hours, presumably with a teacher. They are able to sell things at school, or put on a concert at school.

As it is she literally has £1 and been told to go and make money. ie. I have to make it into money.

notimetoshop Sun 14-Oct-12 00:02:40

Mind it's all good practice for the coming economic armageddon.

notimetoshop Sun 14-Oct-12 00:04:25

You know you have all been so brilliant and I'm going to use as many ideas as possible. I know I sound a bit negative but I'm tired and a bit frustrated that this project doesn't seem to have been thought through v much. Thanks so much.

amistillsexy Sun 14-Oct-12 00:05:39

Can they get together and pool resources? One pound's not going to buy many marshmallows/sticks or go half way towards a bottle of car shampoo.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sun 14-Oct-12 00:11:37

It doesn't sound very well thought out - they're 8, there's not a chance in hell more than 1/100 will be able to do anything with £1 to increase it, by themselves.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Sun 14-Oct-12 00:13:56


have a look at these cards... actually very pretty and i'm sure you could flog them to friends and re-invest.

Startailoforangeandgold Sun 14-Oct-12 00:14:37

Our church did this, I wasconfused at the end of the period I put the £1 back in the collection.

iheartmycat Sun 14-Oct-12 00:15:55

what about 'using' her pound to print out wee leaflets advertising car washing/dog walking/car boot sale and you give them out to friends/neighbours?

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Sun 14-Oct-12 00:19:12

oh sorry, you need to look at the link at the bottom of that page as well. but they genuinely are nice things and you could sell her a few cards at a time for her pound, before she has to re-stock from you. (i've watched the apprentice)

iheartmycat Sun 14-Oct-12 00:19:36

or go to poundland, buy some crap thread thing, she makes friendship bracelets, sells them for 50p to 4 friends at school/you - money doubled. job done!!

Homebird8 Sun 14-Oct-12 00:48:34

You know OP, I wouldn't have blamed you for putting this in AIBU. As good as all the money making suggestions are, I would object on three counts.

Firstly a child of that age acting alone, in most cases, wouldn't be able to come up with a workable plan and carry it out, meaning that they need support from adults someone doing it for them with them tagging along. Secondly, school are unwilling to put something in place to make this easier, like a Market Day or similar. And thirdly, you weren't given the option to opt in or out based on family circumstances. I'm also uncomfortable with children being encouraged at this age to interact with people not known well to the family. Everyone in school has to be checked, everyone on your street doesn't.

Having said this, my DS1 (9) sings in a choir which was going away on tour. The children were encouraged to earn money doing these sorts of things to reduce the cost to their own parents. We helped him bake buns and biscuits and arranged for him to come to my work during the school holidays to seek his wares. A bit of intranet advertising and he made a £45 profit on his £45 investment. Would have been very difficult with only £1 seed money though and impossible without my support.

sashh Sun 14-Oct-12 04:30:58

Go to the poiund shop and look at packs of things. Buy a pack, split it up and sell individually.

Repeat with profits.

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Sun 14-Oct-12 04:57:59

'meaning that they need support from adults'

they need support from adults to learn to read and write, do you object to the school sending home reading books?

Secondly, school are unwilling to put something in place to make this easier, like a Market Day or similar.

It's homework. Homework isn't supposed to be done at school.

'And thirdly, you weren't given the option to opt in or out based on family circumstances.'

You don't get the option to opt in or out of any homework/school project based on your family circumstances! If you don't like it, home school.

'I'm also uncomfortable with children being encouraged at this age to interact with people not known well to the family'

Really? hmm

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Sun 14-Oct-12 05:05:55

OP there are loads of things she could so with minimal help. I think the £1 shop is probably your friend.

buy beads and make bracelets to sell.
buy a big bag of sweets, split into smaller lots, wrap in some nice paper and sell for 50p each.
buy a pack of pencils/bouncy balls/bubbles and sell on indvidually
buy some bin bags and offer a leaf raking/collecting service for £1
make cards and sell them
make a lucky dip and charge 20p a go

I would imagine the point of the activity is the process of coming up with an idea, planning and carrying it out, not really about how much she makes.

PastSellByDate Sun 14-Oct-12 08:00:17

Hi notimetoshop

First - I think you need to have a word with the school about sending instructions home to parents, so you have a better understanding of what is invisioned.

How you can help:

Well there are a couple of ideas.

The school should have a laminator. Your DD could make bookmarks at home on white paper (use A4 - which is the size of most lamination sheets - and cut it into strips).

DD can decorate bookmarks as she likes. Bright patterns. Big logos/ words - READ FOR FUN! or MY BOOK! Stickers (if you have some - kids magazines are great for this). Her fellow students' names - good marketing.

Place as many bookmarks as you can into a lamination wallet (leaving a bit of edge around each - a good way is to cut 5 5cm wide strips off the A4 paper - and that will give a nice border around each bookmark).

Pay the school for lamination wallets (arrange with secretary or teacher - and work out how many you can afford in advance).

Sell at school drop off/ pick up times (when parents are there with money!). If children go to after school clubs - have them bring in money next day if they want one.

Work out a nice profit. So if a lamination sheet cost 20p - sell each bookmark for 30p and that's 50p profit per sheet. If you feel they're super nice - sell for 50p - and that £1.50 profit per sheet.

Gather up old unwanted toys/ DVDs (siblings included & canvas friends for donations) - and set up a stall outside your house/flat and sell toys to other children in the neighbourhood. Can do the same after school on a couple of days.

Some children have badge or bracelet kits - and lots of materials at home already. You can make badges/ bracelets and then sell them on at school (again before/ after school at drop off/ pick up time is best - because parents will have the money).

If the school has an urn anyway - they may allow your DC to run a tea/ coffee/ coco stall for parents at a meeting or an assembly. Parents always love a warm drink this time of year. Usually the PTA/ FRIENDS OF X school have tea/ coffee/ coco supplies - so agree you'll split proceeds with them - but you can probably run the stall quite effectively and make a nice profit - because parents will make their coffees for themselves. You just need to buy as much milk as you can for the pound (or see if PTA will donate that too). If they will buy an economic pack of biscuits.

(Only if this project is a fund-raiser for the school)

Buy the nicest chocolate Santa you can for a £1. And sell Raffle tickets (which you can make in advance on paper - need to make 2 for each number - fold A4 sheet lengthwise in half and then in half again - then mark off tickets. Cut sheet in half - and cut up through bottom row of tickets so you can quickly tear off for each purchase).

Sell tickets for 10 - 20p - and should make a nice profit.

Get a free fruit box from the grocery store and decorate it. Make posters for the school advertising that you're running a book exchange and ask students to bring in their books. Allow about a week - to collect in as many books as you can.

Make another poster announcing the start of the book exchange (and maybe indicating thousands of great books available) and say for every book taken from the exchange you're asking for a donation of 10p toward a new book fund for the school library.

You advertise the really juicy books available (so making updated posters each week) - and run the stall at recess/ lunchtime.

The £1 should cover poster supplies.


Homebird8 Sun 14-Oct-12 08:42:33

In answer to HolyAGB, actually I think homework ought to be something to solidify something being done in school not a thing to create an opportunity for parents to homeschool in addition to school. Support of an adult in the home environment for homework is perfectly reasonable but more or less requiring the adult to lead and undertake the activity so that the child is seen to do the homework is questionable in terms of what it achieves.

HecateLarpo Sun 14-Oct-12 08:45:11

give her a business loan. grin Contract, interest... That's good to learn.

and there have been some really great ideas on this thread.

Sparklingbrook Sun 14-Oct-12 09:02:30

I like Past's raffle idea of the Chocolate the best.

But I really don't like this sort of thing any more than having to collect sponsor money. I would be really hmm if either DS came home with it.

CecilyP Sun 14-Oct-12 09:56:29

Sell at school drop off/ pick up times (when parents are there with money!). If children go to after school clubs - have them bring in money next day if they want one.

Fine if only one child is doing it, but as the whole class has been given the project, it might be rather annoying for parents being approached by a large number of kids selling things that they don't actually want to buy. It would be annoying even if it was a charity fund-raiser which this is not.

mrz Sun 14-Oct-12 10:14:55

I imagine it is a maths project (we've always run ours in groups with lots of guidance and supervision inside school).
One group costed fruit for snack time and how much they had to sell each piece for to make a profit which was reinvested each day (with the teacher doing the shopping every night) for a week. Another group bought the materials and made friendship bracelets, another group made cup cakes ... A letter went home to parents of children not involved explaining there would be items for sale and the cost. Profits were used to provide a small treat for every child.

Sparklingbrook Sun 14-Oct-12 10:17:35

I think groups would be better mrz. There's always going to be one or two kids that suddenly manage to raise loads more than anyone else by their parents just giving them the money.

HecateLarpo Sun 14-Oct-12 10:21:40

Am back now I've had an idea grin

Give her a business loan of a fiver. Take her shopping for materials. Have her make Christmas cards and sell them to family members for them to send at christmas. She then has to repay the loan out of the profits, plus interest.

She gets more money for the startup, in a legitimate way if the aim is to teach them about business - then securing additional start up funding is not cheating grin and she can get some reasonable materials so she has more stock. Reinvest the profit and make some more cards. I am sure grandparents, aunties and uncles and family friends would be happy to pay a few quid for a pack of christmas cards done by her.

maree1 Sun 14-Oct-12 12:44:03

Government is pushing for business skills to be promoted in schools so just thinking about the challenge is a good exercise. Google 'schoolboy crawford cards' to see what can happen later if a business idea clicks.

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Sun 14-Oct-12 13:40:49

'I think homework ought to be something to solidify something being done in school'

How do you know that it isn't? Just because the school won't set up a 'market day' doesn't mean they haven't been working on this theme/project at school as well.

'more or less requiring the adult to lead and undertake the activity so that the child is seen to do the homework is questionable in terms of what it achieves'

Why would the OP need to 'lead and undertake the activity'? The OP's DD is year 3 i.e. 7 or 8 years old, not 3 years old, have you misread the OP? DC1 is in yr 3 and quite capable of coming up with an idea like this and carrying it out. Obviously I'd have to take her to the shop as she's too young to go by herself, but that's hardly an unreasonable request by the school. She would be able to make bracelets/packets of sweets/lucky dip/bookmarks etc by her self. I'd just need to supervise (not lead and undertake) the selling of whatever she'd made.

OP could your DD pair up with another child and put their money together? Have the school said this isn't allowed?

GoldenPeppermintCreams Sun 14-Oct-12 15:04:26

Buy a load of cheap cards from The Card Factory then sell her a quids worth at a time so she can resell them at a profit. The 7 for £1 are good quality, and come wrapped.

grovel Sun 14-Oct-12 18:12:47

How long has she got? Buy some cress seeds and grow them indoors. Sell the cress.

Dig up flowers in the park and sell them. Use the £1 to make a poster.

Buy a lottery ticket.

Quip Sun 14-Oct-12 21:31:24

grovel cat's bum mouth at flowers from park

Sparklingbrook Sun 14-Oct-12 21:59:45

I don't think theft and gambling are what the school had in mind grovel. sad

fatfloosie Mon 15-Oct-12 11:48:42

Watch an episode of Antiques Road Trip together. Then take her to a car boot sale with her £1 in 5p pieces. Get her to find items to resell - doesn't have to be antiques - and haggle, haggle haggle. List items on ebay.

WitchesTitWhistles Mon 15-Oct-12 11:53:36

Does anyone else think the whole idea is a bit ugh? I wouldn't really want my 8 year old to be thinking about investments and financial stuff.

Trying to be constructive though.....: kidnap another pupil and hold them to ransom? The £1 would buy duct tape.

lingle Mon 15-Oct-12 13:05:21

lol at kidnap idea.

I'm with the market day and working in teams ideas. Kids who come from families like the one I grew up in are going to find this very very difficult - I think it's an inclusion issue.

Having said that, there are some brill ideas on this thread.

My 9 year old took enterprise week very seriously indeed and the following summar he starting busking. He has made over £120 doing this although I should deduct the costs of (i) the coffees I have to buy as I sit behind him and (ii) the loss of earnings because I can't work while I'm in the cafe for fear that someone will shout at me for letting him busk. It has only happened once but that was stressful. Though the shouter was a bit flummoxed when I explained "don't worry, it's all inspired by enterprise week"

PS don't write in about licences for busking please.

HecateLarpo Mon 15-Oct-12 13:25:04

I think the earlier they start to get to grips with the financial realities of life the better. People with a good understanding of business, of economics, of personal finance etc

That way we won't raise another generation who take out massive loans without understanding what the interest actually is and who ask why if the government doesn't have enough cash, they can't just print more money grin

Poppylovescheese Mon 15-Oct-12 23:46:19

We did this and made leaflets to look after small animals whilst people are away ie hamsters etc.

ingridhellem Fri 19-Oct-12 16:29:20

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

midseasonsale Fri 19-Oct-12 20:54:59

Get them to design and make some Xmas cards.

midseasonsale Fri 19-Oct-12 20:57:19

Felt Xmas doves for Xmas tree decorations?

zipzap Fri 19-Oct-12 21:08:46

Poundland here had boxes of 20 glowstick bracelets in for a pound.

Buy one and sell them all to her friends at school for 20p each. Make 15p profit on each one.

Persuade you to invest in several boxes of glowsticks - negotiate a minimal fee for lending her £4 so she can buy 5 boxes of glowsticks and then sell them at the school firework event (do they have one?) or christmas event.

I know at our infant school christmas bash they buy in job lots of glowsticks and sell them for about 40p each. Kids seem to go mad for them, especially when it's dark so think they would do really well at a fireworks night!

Say you were to take a 5p cut per £1 she borrowed from you, just thinking that say she were to do it for the firework party (our school one is next week) then she only has a limited opportunity to sell the bracelets thus needs to buy more to start with rather than being able to go back and get more if there is big demand.

Alternatively look on ebay (or in the pound shop) for things that sell in big quantities for a pound or two - like erasers or hair bobbles or biros - then sell them on to friends.

zipzap Fri 19-Oct-12 21:11:14

What's the time she's got available to do this - what she can do if she has got a week or two is very different from if she has to hand the money back in by christmas or easter or the end of the summer term...

sproingle Sat 20-Oct-12 22:16:12

I did this in year 4. Mind you I got £1 then and that was in the early 80s so a loan for stock could be a good idea.

I bought cheap soap and wrapped it in material with a ribbon and sold for about 4x cost.
I bought cheep bath oil beads and put in little bags and sold at profit.
I made lavender bags and filled with lavender from my garden - again sold for a lot more than it cost to make.
We had lots of old ladies in the street - I was sent a few houses up/down my road without supervision and told not to go inside any house but mum was watching from our gate so she knew roughly which house I was at.

Must have turned £1 into £20 without too much effort.

Ruprekt Sun 21-Oct-12 13:44:25

A friend of mine made onion bhajis with her dd and sold them in the staffroom.

As she sold them she had more money to make more.

Made about £100 I think and as a school with each child having £1 school made £4000!

alphabite Sun 21-Oct-12 15:48:19

Haven't read the whole thread so not sure if this has already been suggested but they could make reindeer food. You should be able to make a few bags for £1. Just need a few envelopes, porridge oats and glitter. They could do some xmas drawings on the envelopes or make labels. Then reinvest on more stuff when you've sold the first few bags. 50p each?

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