Entrepreneurs often start young, very young. Many future entrepreneurs start small businesses as children. Some examples include, a snow removal business, a lemonade stand, or a used video game company, among others. Cameron Herald, CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK and founder of BackPocket COO started several businesses as a child. He went on to become a very successful entrepreneur and gave a Ted Talk 2 years ago about the need to encourage entrepreneurism in children, rather than stifle it. There are certain character traits that Herald believes help predict the likelihood a child will or could potentially become an entrepreneur, and rather than try to fit a square peg into a round hole, Herald suggests schools and parents should encourage those characteristics. He’s largely right. If the American education system (and others) encouraged entrepreneurism from a young age and recognized it as career path in the same way as law or finance, the country would be much more innovative. In addition, small businesses (including start-ups) comprise more than 50% of non-farm US GDP. A strong pipeline of young entrepreneurs could help boost that number and US GDP significantly.
All this talk about young entrepreneurs leads to the classic psychological question, is it nature or nurture. Herold is suggesting that nurture, the experiences the child has, plays a major role in that child’s likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur in the future. We’ll discuss nature vs. nurture for entrepreneurs later this week.
Until then, with Cameron Herald’s Ted Talk