Learners are given advice on how they can earn extra money by becoming an entrepreneur. After investigating several web pages that offer examples of what other people their age have done to earn money, students identify three money-making ideas for themselves such as: considering what they would enjoy doing, what they do well, what people are willing to buy, the need to set a price that will be profitable, and safety. In a follow-up activity, students are given tips on how they might advertise what they are selling. They prepare flyers to promote one of their ideas for earning money. For an introduction to earning and other ways people get money, the instructor may want to first use the lesson 'Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees.'
- Select three businesses they believe can be successful for them and support their ideas with reasons why.
- Create a flyer promoting what they are selling.
Discuss the following with your students: There are two basic ways to earn money. One way is to make or gather something that others are willing to buy. The something you make or gather is called a good. The other way is to do work that others are willing to pay you to do. This work is called service. Maybe your family gives you money for doing household chores like dusting, washing the dishes, or feeding a pet. The amount of money your family is willing and able to pay you is probably limited. Have you ever tried to sell a good or service to people outside your family -- perhaps to friends or neighbors? If you have, you were probably an entrepreneur.
The dictionary says an entrepreneur is, "A person who organizes and manages a business, assuming the risk for the sake of profit." In short, an entrepreneur is a businessperson who does these things:
- Sees an opportunity for making money
- Makes a plan
- Starts the business
- Manages the business
- Receives the profit
A business can be a big company that makes televisions or computers. A business can also be small such as a neighborhood grocery store or a soft drink stand at a local ball game. In this lesson, your students will learn more about what entrepreneurs do and what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
Earning a Profit Activity: Students will calculate the profit of each money making idea to decide if it is a good idea.
Earning a Profit Worksheet
Earning a Profit Answer Sheet
Jobs I Can Do to Earn Money: Students can complete this worksheet on jobs they think they might be good at.
Jobs I Can Do to Earn Money Worksheet
Kid’s Money Making: A site where people can submit their money-making ideas to and read the advice other people have shared.
Twenty Money-Making Ideas for Young Persons: This interactive activity can be projected via an LCD Projector during class; teachers also may use the activity for classroom discussion. Use it to help students brainstorm what types of jobs would be suitable for them to pursue.
You may also want to have some books with money-making ideas available in your classroom or school library. Here are three possibilities:
- Kid Biz, Bonnie and Noel Drew (Eakin Press, 1990). ISBN 0890157499
- Kid Cash, Joe Lamancusa. (TAB Books, a division of McGraw-Hill, 1993). ISBN 083064265X
- Making Cents: Every Kid’s Guide to Money, Elizabeth Wilkinson (Little, Brown and Co., 1989) ISBN: 0316941026
Check with your librarian and bookstore for other books on the same subject.
There is substantial flexibility in how this lesson may be used. You may decide to have students focus on jobs that they can do to earn money in the classroom, school, neighborhood or a combination of these. This choice will be influenced by factors such as the age of your students, the economic circumstances of their families, student safety, and classroom time you wish to devote to the project.
Some teachers require students to follow through with their money-making idea trying to find customers for what is being sold. If you are not comfortable having students seek work in the community-at-large, you can direct them to identify a job they can do for classmates. Jobs are done during recess or special classroom time. Other educators allow students to sell to anyone in their school -- a school store is opened or there is a special market event. Another option is a school fair (perhaps on the evening a PTA meeting is being held) where parents are invited to meet students and learn about the goods and services being sold.
Activity 1: Choosing a Business
- What jobs did you choose to earn money?
- Why do you think they will be successful?
Create a graphic organizer that organizes the students' into categories -- [ie:, Enjoyable, Profitable, Consumer Demand, Parents Approve.]
For ideas on what others your age are doing to earn money, visit these web pages:
- A page managed by KidsMoney.org where young people share money-making ideas and advice.
- print copy of this list.
Activity 2: Letting Others Know What You Are Selling
Have the students choose one money-making idea and create a flier that advertises what they are selling. Emphasize the elements that they will want to include in their flier.
- Pictures, words and other things that catch people’s attention.
- What they are offering.
- Their qualifications for doing the job.
- Why customers might like or use what they are selling.
- What their good or service costs.
- How to contact them -- usually a phone number if they are providing a service.
This is an ideal project for helping students to build word processing, publishing and other computer technology skills. It is your choice whether the entire project or selected elements of it-such as creating graphics and text-will be completed on the computer. If access to computers is limited, the fliers can also be completed in a more traditional manner with colored markers and paper. Students can draw pictures or cut them out of magazines.
Assess students completed worksheets for Activity 1. Consider the student’s reasons for choosing their jobs, the likelihood that they would be successful, and their neatness, grammar, spelling, accuracy of mathematics, etc.
Elements that might be included in an assessment rubric for the promotional flyer include: originality, inclusion of required elements (e.g., what is being sold, contact information, price), design elements (layout, graphics, lettering), mechanics (spelling, grammar, neatness), and appropriateness of information.
If your students want extra money, becoming an entrepreneur may be a solution for them. Have them keep their eyes and ears open -- they will be surprised how many opportunities for making money will pop up at home, at school, and in their neighborhood! Keys to a successful entrepreneurial experience are finding something they like to do that is safe and that others are willing to buy; it is also crucial to set a price that will yield a profit, and to spread the news on what they are selling.
“Looks like a great lesson and can't wait to try it out! Thanks for sharing!”
“This is a great lesson. I'm going to try it tomorrow. What a fun activity for one of the very last weeks of school!”
“Will try it as well. Great activity! Thanks!”
“Keep it up!”
“I know this is a great resource! How do we get it to our children? Also, it s a great resource for all! Maybe we should open up this site for suggestions.”
“I blew this lesson up into a unit where the kids act as entrepreneurs, brainstorm a business, create a market survey, analyze the results, create a business plan, and are responsible for marketing and selling their goods/services to the middle school. It's a lot of work but MOST of the kids really like it and it is making economics feel real to them.”
“As an introduction, I would use activities for the two web sites recommended. Then, I would teach Activity 1. Finally, the class would decide which product and price they could sell to our Middle School next year.”
Review from EconEdReviews.org
“The students were so excited to start their own company. We watched the Reading Rainbow video titled "Lemonade for Sale". You could also just read the book. The students took those ideas along with the slide show of ideas to come up with jobs they thought would be good for them. We learned the words "revenue", "expenses", and "profit/loss" by using the provided worksheets. Then they had to come up with 3 jobs and what they thought their projected revenue, expenses and profit would be. (This was difficult for them.) We created poster sized business cards and presented to the class sharing with them the 3 vocabulary words. Students became even more excited at the thought of carrying out their new entrepreneurship at home. If we had more time, I would have them create their businesses and build a mall within our classroom. Next year I could start the year with this, and it could be a learning opportunity throughout the year adding more lessons with economy. ”
Review from EconEdReviews.org
“Great idea! I can see using this with my 7th grade Family and Consumer Science class as an intro to our $ unit. Babysitting is the number job for most students in my class. This lesson may give them some other ideas on how to earn $. Marla in VA”
Review from EconEdReviews.org
“I have tried to have students get involved with various fund raisers, but I feel this unit would help them organize their ideas better. The lesson "Money doesn't grow on trees" would indeed be a great starting point. I would not worry about the advertising angle as much finding the right product based on our market and establishing the right price. This unit addresses those two issues well. C.Scimone”
Review from EconEdReviews.org
“This is a great lesson but would require several class periods. The resources for this lesson are wonderful especially the "Earning a Profit" handout. Students will get a clearer understanding of profits and losses and then start their own business with their main goal is to make a profit. i would take this lesson a step further and have students become real entrepreneurs where they would either market a produce (they invented) or provide a service. This lesson is to help the students understand the full role of an enterpreneur. The student would see an opportunity for making money (invent a product), create a plan, finance the plan, market the business (sell to the students in the business department) then determine if they received a profit or a loss from their financial plan.”