Thursday, February 10, 2011

Startup America Initiative

I am hoping to be able to watch the SOU (state of the union) address today. In the meantime, I saw a headline today that I had passed before without noticing:

An initiative for entrepreneurs.

So for those who didn't hear about it, there is a "fact sheet" on the White House website which I'll include in a link but there is going to be money directed to those who want to start up their own businesses or non-profits. Some of the money is to increase the number of women who go into this, and some of the money will be for even K-12 kids.

So there may be something to look at, for kids and teens who have an interest in starting their own businesses. And you shouldn't have to come from a rich family to get set up or get information about it.

A lot of money is going to "green" ventures, like clean energy, medicine, advanced technology, manufacturing, and other solutions and alternatives, and then there is money for a variety of things.

Mainly, for a regular citizen, it is a matter of sifting through the information to find the group or pot of money that is best matched to your interests.

Some of the kids and teachers will need to have teachers who are willing to bring this up in class and explain how to get them started.

If I were a teacher, I would read up specifically on the group that is going to help with Kindergarten-High School start ups, research it, and then pass this information on to my students in a clear way. I would tell the entire class, because not every kid is going to be in the "7 skills for highly successful people" classes or business electives. They'll be sitting in the front, back, or middle, and may have never talked about their ideas before and will just need to hear about how they can turn their ideas into money.

I know my cousin, who was getting F's in class, went to straight A's after I told him how getting good grades would help him to make more money in the future. And for him, he told me money was motivating to him. So I first had to identify what motivated him to succeed and then hone in on this and be honest with him, but give some tips on how to acheive his goals.

Kids can be business owners. No child should be pushed into it, or coaxed. I think, if you're dealing with kids, it has to originate from them. No parent has the right to push their kids into this, thinking how great it would be, when maybe their kid has no interest or would be burdened with it. But there are some kids who naturally are doing these kinds of things or who just need a little more direction or to hear someone might back their projects with money.

I think some parents really need to back off from their kids and quit pushing, on the other end of the spectrum. They are the ones who try to produce mini-mes, who allow no room for discussion, for whom going to college or not is not an option.

I always had options. I didn't have all the resources or information I needed, perhaps, but I was free to make my own decisions and thrived on this. It's different for everyone, but the parents who force their kids to do things they don't want to do, end up with passive-aggressive children who become angry or self-injuring teens and adults.

There are plenty of other parents who just don't have time to navigate all of the resources out there, who are so busy with work themselves that they have a hard time to supervise homework and bring up ideas and this is where teachers and guidance counselors should be hopefully filling in since they have the kids most of the day.

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