teenentrepreneurshipIn June my business will be sponsoring the prize for the winning team at Teen Start-Up: Future Cities, an innovation camp for teens and tweens between the ages of 10 and 18 years.

I firmly believe that every child needs the financial literacy and business skills that programs like Teen Start-Up teach. In the past, employment might have been considered secure and entrepreneurship risky, but the new reality is that there will be no such thing as a job for life.

You just have to open the newspaper to read about public service job cuts, companies that are taking jobs offshore, wage negotiations that have stalled and the range of jobs and skills that are being made redundant by technological and market changes. By encouraging children to be entrepreneurial we are also fostering their independence at a number of levels.


By teaching children entrepreneurial skills you are equipping them with the ability to take control of their financial needs and future. They will always have the skills to generate income, whether it’s a hobby business or the ability to provide not only a comfortable living for themselves and their families, but also for their employees.

While not everyone wants to (or should) become an entrepreneur, entrepreneurial skills are also important for employees. In today’s competitive environment and global economy, workplaces are looking for people who can think outside the box, solve problems and come up with creative solutions.

In programs like Teen Start-Up, students are encouraged to come up with great ideas, but as part of the process they also have to analyse the financial aspects of turning it into something that makes money. How much will it take to get their idea off the ground? How will they make money from this idea and how soon? How will they fund any start-up costs? Financial literacy, money management and self-reliance are generally not taught at school and unfortunately as a result many adults also lack these skills.


The other reason I was keen to get involved in this Teen Start-Up challenge was the theme – ‘Future Cities’. The bank of mum and dad is increasingly being relied on by young people to buy property. Housing affordability is becoming an increasing barrier to property ownership and this begs the question - does home ownership have a place in the cities of the future?

As our young participants grapple with this issue and many other questions at Teen Start-Up, it is important to remember that building wealth and financial security through investment in property requires sacrifice, persistence and self-discipline no matter whether you are a Baby Boomer, Gen X or a Millennial. If we teach our young people the skills to see their plans through, then home ownership will be as attainable now as it was in the 1990s when the interest rates were 17%.

Even if you don't want your child to be in business for themself, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and encouraging financial literacy sets them up for their future whatever path they mght choose.

Photo by: Roslyn Clark


About Lynette Murray
Lynette Murray is the founder of ActonLendingSolutions part of the ActonAdviceGroup. ActonLendingSolutions provides lending advice tailored to your unique situation, whether you’re a first home buyer; a property investor; or wanting to refinance to consolidate debt, renovate or manage changing family situations. As senior adviser, Lynette Murray has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry, specialising in financial planning for over 15 years.