Young entrepreneurs from around the world shared the deeply personal stories behind their businesses during a launch event in Sydney at the weekend for the comic book Brilliant BusinessKids.
Brilliant BusinessKids is the latest publication from global entrepreneurial hub Inspiring Rare Birds and was launched alongside the blended learning environment Phronesis Academy and the academy’s first program startup.business.
Thirteen-year-old Sydney entrepreneur Juliette Jones, who appears in the book, described to an audience of children, academics, teachers and entrepreneurs at the University of Sydney Business School, how the death of her grandfather from Motor Neurone Disease inspired her to co-found CSJ leMoNaiD.
“We’ve raised more than $20,000 so far. Our goal is to raise awareness about the disease and get enough money every year to pay for a research team at Macquarie University,” she says.
Zeryab Cheema, who is 19 years old and whose business story is also depicted in the book, explained how he is launching a new ride-sharing service in Australia. His current business iView International employs more than 40 employees worldwide.
“We hope to expand the new service across Australia, then to the United States,” he says.
The comic book features entrepreneurs as young as eight – with businesses based in Australia, Indonesia, the United States, Israel and Vietnam – who describe their journeys from startup.
Brilliant BusinessKids was conceived by academics and entrepreneurs, and can be read alone or as the course book for startup.business, says Rare Birds founder and CEO Jo Burston.
The book and program enable students to learn from the challenges and opportunities other children have experienced growing enterprises, and shows them what they could do and who they could become. “I passionately believe that if you can’t see it, you can’t become it,” she says.
Startup.business has been trialled in a number of Sydney schools and also shows students what’s it’s like to see, think, do and be an entrepreneur. It’s the first of many initiatives from the academy, which has been co-founded by Jo Burston and Dr Richard Seymour, from Sydney University School of Business.
“It’s an exciting development in education and one we believe will be embraced by schools around the world,” says Jo Burston.
Dr Seymour says Phronesis Academy is a “ground-breaking collaboration” between entrepreneurs and academics.
“Entrepreneurs learn in the thick of uncertainty, change, and action. It’s what they do best – asking, trying, doing and reflecting,” he says. “It’s a dynamic and exciting way of learning. That’s why Inspiring Rare Birds has partnered with Phronesis Academy to develop education initiatives that integrate knowing what, with knowing how, why and with whom.”
“The program will also create communities of entrepreneurial learning and practice with a community platform soon to be released. Our vision is to connect young entrepreneurs worldwide,” he says.
Are you a teacher whose students would love to learn the skills and mindset of an entrepreneur? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how the program could benefit your students.