Defining Entrepreneurship to Kids

Entrepreneur: it’s not a word that regularly appears in children’s books, nor a direct concept typically taught. Unless you are a child of a business owner, the idea of becoming an entrepreneur is not typically presented at an early age (other than the rudimentary concept of setting up a table and selling lemonade). However, the skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur are beneficial to any child’s development:

  • Goal Setting: Physically writing down goals and the steps needed to reach those goals
  • Acting on Opportunity: recognizing setback and strategizing solutions
  • Financial Literacy: earning money, investing, and giving back
  • Creativity: developing a message and call to action
  • Resilience: learning from failures and pushing forward
  • Communication: etiquette and engaging in conversations
  • Self-Motivated: making your own decisions and setting your own schedule
  • Leadership: motivating teams to work towards a common goal
  • …and so much more!

Entrepreneurs are doers and dreamers, not unlike most kids. They are also the backbone of our economy. In a report by Proposify,  it was reported that almost half of the US’s private sector workforce (49.2%) is employed by small business, and for the last twenty years, small businesses have been responsible for creating two out of every three (64%) of net new jobs. However, entrepreneurship is not a style of thinking encouraged in school, where students are required to focus on the task assigned, not dream up their own projects. So, it must be highlighted beyond the classroom.


One book we have found to be a great start to introducing the concept is What Does It Mean to Be an Entrepreneur? by Rana DiOrio and Emma D. Dryden, published by Little Pickle Press. Described as “a positive introduction to the concept of entrepreneurship, inspiring readers to seek out ways to be inventive and innovative,” entrepreneurs of any age will discover creative ways to follow their dreams and change the world.

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur? Does it mean making lots of money? Or buying a business? No. Being an entrepreneur means asking, “What if?” and taking the initiative to solve a problem. It means following your dream, loving to learn and being curious, and taking risks. In the book, when Rae witnesses an ice cream-and-doggie mishap, she's inspired to create a big-scale solution to help get dogs clean. Rae draws on her determination, resilience, and courage until she—and everyone else in her community—learns just what it means to be an entrepreneur.


Successful people like Jerry Greenfield, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, reviewed the book saying, “Inspires young dreamers to find the courage to be doers.” Lily Kanter, co-founder and chief executive officer of Serene & Lily said, “This book is a fabulous and insightful way to teach entrepreneurship to all ages. I love it!” Dhana Inc.’s founder and CEO, Shamini Dhana said, “What Does it Mean to be an Entrepreneur? distills the very essence of the entrepreneurial spirit. DiOrio and Dryden capture the emotional, physical, and intellectual rigor of entrepreneurship in this wonderfully illustrated book which is sure to engage and inspire readers of all ages.” 

Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

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BooksStephanie Threinen