Australians love a larrikin. That unconventional person who is a true individual and dances to the beat of their own drum. So we would have loved the 19th century Texas rancher Samuel Maverick. He was so free-spirited and individually minded that he refused to brand his cattle. Strange behaviour for a rancher! But, if you think about it, it allowed him to collect any unbranded cattle and claim them as his own! Sneaky. But brilliant. Whilst we at Kidpreneur (obviously!) don’t advocate such corporate skullduggery, we do love hearing stories of our students thinking outside the square. Call it innovation, lateral thinking or creativity, either way the effect is the same. Circumventing the constraints of your circumstance. And that is a core element of entrepreneurship. The ability to optimise scarce resources in order to generate ultimate value. 

So, you can image how delighted we were with the teachers at West Beach Primary School. They took the comprehensive “Ready, Set, Go” curriculum we provided and maximised it by blending in their own resources, syllabus ideas and know-how. Although we work hard to make the program as “ready-to-go” as possible we love seeing teachers customising and personalising it for their students. And taking their cue from their teachers, the students also thought outside the box and tailored the program to their particular goals and tastes. When some students realised the resources available didn’t quite suit their needs they took the initiative and wrote to IKEA to see if they would help them out. They did. And money was saved in the all important production phase. Not to be outdone in the creativity stakes, another student sold their $40 voucher to their Primary School mother for cold, hard cash then purchased the raw materials they needed with that. Other students soaked up the lesson about following your passion and simply ignored the resources included and went off the grid by making ice-cream for their target market. Seeing restriction as an opportunity to be creative and prosper is the essence of entrepreneurial spirit. And West Beach Primary School has that spirit. 

With the support of partners such as Club Kidpreneur, primary teachers can breathe life into the new national curriculum. It includes subjects such as “Civics and Citizenship” and “Business and Economics” which aim to teach skills they will prepare students for the brave new world of 2015 and beyond. At the market day held in Harbour Shopping Plaza student were required to put all that theory into practice. They had to be organised, deal with the challenges of logistics, make change, interact with the public, sell their wares and ensure that a profit was made. And they were a resounding success. Numerous members of the public commented on their great attitudes and courteous behaviour. Students realised the relevance of the abstract concepts they were learning in the classroom when “profit and loss” became real life things. Even though Club Kidpreneur is not a fundraising program, the students did generate a hefty profit of $500, which will be donated to a local charity. Delighted their students learned some great business acumen in addition to vital soft skills such as how to speak in public in a persuasive and confident manner. 

The CK Challenge is nationwide program where kidpreneurs learn to build and launch a real world business.