If you’ve been following the media lately, you might notice that entrepreneurship is the new black. This is music to the ears of successful entrepreneur and driver of the Entreprenaissance, Creel Price, who for the past 10 years has been tirelessly advocating for a revival of entrepreneurial thinking along with the education, policy and infrastructure required to support entrepreneurship at all levels.
“It’s entrepreneurial thinking that drives the world forward in leaps and bounds, instead of waiting for incremental change to produce anything significant. We need to empower individuals to become more entrepreneurial as intrapreneurs, socialpreneurs, entrepreneurs, kidpreneurs and even just as civic citizens. But this can only happen with the ecosystem to support it, and that’s what I’ve been working to grow”, says Creel.
Creel’s entrepreneurial journey started in rural NSW growing strawberries on his family farm. He then went on to launch 8 more businesses in high school and 2 more by the time he left university. From there, Creel went on to start his largest business Blueprint Management Group with $5,000 from his own pocket, growing it to 1,000 employees and selling it in 2008 years later $109 million.
Since then, Creel has been a tireless proponent for fostering entrepreneurship on a global level. Sir Richard Branson and Creel partner to deliver entrepreneurial training in the Branson Centres for Entrepreneurship and Creel has founded the Club Kidpreneur Foundation which works through primary schools to inspire innovation and entrepreneurial thinking in children, equipping them with strategies, confidence and business acumen to create their own start ups.
Creel is glad to see advancement of the startup landscape come from both the public and private sectors, with MPs like Wyatt Roy driving innovative policy developments and a range of incubators and accelerators supporting startup growth. “‘Lemondade Stand Day’, the winning idea at the recent Policy Hack event, shows that it’s finally starting to hit home that entrepreneurial education is needed at a next-gen level.”
Tania Price, Executive Director of Club Kidpreneur says, “we welcome the government’s commitment to teach entrepreneurial skills to children and drive an innovation agenda. Club Kidpreneur has been leading this conversation with primary schools for the past six years and has seen significant impact academically, socially and financially from the CK program.”
To date, Club Kidpreneur has seen over 8,000 kids from 500 Aussie schools participate in their CK Challenge program which is embedded in the national curriculum for delivery in the classroom and is developing a large scale digital platform to enable e-learning in partnership with Hewlett Packard. The Foundation also partners with the Scentre Group to run school holiday workshops in Westfield shopping centres and in 2016 is launching National Kidpreneur Day to provide multiple touch points for kids, their families and schools to get involved. One key focus of the Foundation’s programs is to teach kids to harness the power of business for good by using design thinking to build enterprises that solve problems and donating their profit to worthy causes of their choice. So far kidpreneurs have raised more than $350,000 for charities and their schools.
“Real change is generational, and if we’re to see a truly innovative and thriving future for Australia, our kids can’t be educated like we were – something has to change.” Creel believes kids need to be exposed to entrepreneurial skills at a young age, because these are life skills. “If I hadn’t had the opportunity to develop the confidence, resilience, creativity and financial literacy that being in business gave me from a young age, I doubt I would have had the business success and worldview I have today. I want to give today’s kidpreneurs the same opportunity.”
As well as fostering tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, Creel is also developing the entrepreneurs of today through his business Investible – a talent accelerator and business generation lab, working to address the need for talented founders, investor-ready businesses and access to capital.
Through a rolling series of 10-week business ideation and launch programs, Investible is creating a pipeline of investment-worthy talent and businesses, making world-class entrepreneurial education more accessible to aspiring founders. The complementary Club Investible is simultaneously working to make investing into high growth start-ups more available, lucrative and hassle-free for investors, led by Creel and Australian angel investor Trevor Folsom.
“Founders, their startups and investors are three pieces to the entrepreneurial puzzle, which all need to be developed. Club Kidpreneur, Investible and Club Investible model the multi-sided approach that is required for the Entreprenaissance to be achieved in this century,” says Trevor Folsom.