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在幼小心灵播下创业种子

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luyuna

2017年12月26日

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My sons are just eight, 10 and 12 years old but they already display an unnerving instinct for capitalism. It makes them the perfect companions to help me review

我的3个儿子分别只有8岁、10岁和12岁,但他们已显露出令人不安的资本主义本能。这让他们成为我最棒的搭档,帮助我评估一个为仍然在上学的新生代初创企业创始人设立的新节日Kidpreneur。

Kidpreneur — a new festival for budding start-up founders who are still at school.

(文首照片为本文作者若纳唐•穆莱斯和他的三个儿子在Kidpreneur活动中——编者按)

The event was at the London branch of KidZania, a global theme-park chain founded by a Mexican entrepreneur, which offers children the chance to role-play in a variety of real-life jobs.

这项活动在全球主题公园连锁趣志家(KidZania)的伦敦分园举行;趣志家由一位墨西哥企业家创建,为孩子们提供体验各种真实工作的机会。

Kidpreneur was part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, a programme of activities in 170 countries. This event was compèred by my children’s favourite television presenters Dick and Dom. So I expected a degree of excitement, perhaps even a thank you. Instead, their first question was about how much they would be paid.

Kidpreneur是全球创业周(Global Entrepreneurship Week)的一部分,该项目的活动覆盖全球170个国家。此次活动由我的孩子们最喜欢的电视主持人迪克(Dick)和多姆(Dom)主持。因此我预计孩子们会有一定程度的兴奋,甚至可能会说一声谢谢。但他们的第一个问题竟然是他们会得到多少报酬?

I could blame KidZania, which was created not just to let children sample grown-up jobs but also pays them for doing so. Its currency is Kidzos — which can only be exchanged for products in the on-site gift shop.

我可以指责趣志家,其创建宗旨不仅是让孩子们体验成年人的工作,而且还会据此付给他们报酬。其货币名为K币(Kidzos),只能在园内的礼品店换取商品。

Kidpreneur takes this a step further by planting the idea in young minds of setting up on their own. The goal is to make Kidpreneur an annual London event and roll it out across the company’s 24 sites worldwide.

Kidpreneur更进一步,要在孩子们幼小的心灵中播下创业的种子。其目标是让Kidpreneur成为伦敦的年度活动,并推广到该公司在世界各地的24个体验园。

The young delegates at Kidpreneur heard first from Henry Patterson, 13-year-old founder of gifts brand Not Before Tea. Henry started, aged five, selling horse manure from the stables next to his family’s rural Bedford home. At eight, he set up a dog-walking business. Not Before Tea started as an online sweet shop, adopting a phrase Henry’s grandmother used when her treats jar was offered round. Aged 10, he wrote a children’s story book and turned the illustrations into a range of christening cards, baby-changing mats and nappy pouches. Turnover is “in six figures”, he says.

Kidpreneur的年轻参加者们首先听了礼品品牌Not Before Tea的13岁创始人亨利•帕特森(Henry Patterson)的介绍。亨利5岁时开始在他家(位于贝德福德郡的乡村)隔壁的马厩售卖马粪肥。他在8岁时创建了一家遛狗公司。Not Before Tea最初是一家在线糖果店,这个名称源自亨利的祖母在拿出糖果罐时常说的话。他10岁时写了一本儿童故事书,并把插图变成了一系列洗礼卡片、婴儿换尿布用垫和尿布包。他说,现在的营业额是“六位数”。

Asked what he plans to do next, Henry announced that he was preparing to buy a house. For a moment, the hyperactive adult comperes were lost for words.

在被问及他的下一步计划时,亨利宣布他准备买一套房子。在那一瞬间,两位极为活跃的成年主持人哑口无言。

My middle child, who has always been the first to write his Christmas and birthday present lists, was also agog. He fixed me with an excited expression that said “I need to do something like that”.

我的二儿子总是第一个写下他的圣诞和生日礼物愿望清单,他也很激动。他带着兴奋的表情注视着我,好像在说“我也要做那样的事情”。

The thought occurred to me that I could be sitting next to a budding Richard Branson, if only we could persuade our local city farm to part with its dung and get him registered at Companies House.

我想,我身边坐着的可能是一位正含苞待放的理查德•布兰森(Richard Branson),但愿我们能说服我们那里的城市农场提供粪肥让他售卖,并帮助他在英国公司登记局(Companies House)注册。

Next on stage was Callum Daniels, an eight-year-old who has set up I Code Robots to teach young people how to build and programme robotic toys.

接下来登场的是8岁的卡勒姆•丹尼尔斯(Callum Daniels),他创建了I Code Robots,教年轻人如何制作机器人玩具,并对其进行编程。

The company started trading this year, employs 10 people and runs classes at the former media centre for the London 2012 Olympic Games, through a partnership with Loughborough University London. His mother was at his side and explained how her son showed promise from an early age, building his first robot aged four.

该公司今年开始开展业务,拥有10名员工,通过与拉夫堡大学伦敦校区(Loughborough University London)合作,在曾经是2012年伦敦奥运会媒体中心的地方运营课程。他的母亲站在他身边,向人们解释他的儿子是如何在幼年就展现出潜力、在4岁时就鼓捣出他的第一台机器人的。

My youngest son is the same age as Callum and shares his passion for making stuff. My boy’s construction material of choice is Lego, and is often to be found in his bedroom creating a new vehicle.

我的小儿子与卡勒姆一样大,也喜欢制作东西。我儿子最喜欢的建筑材料是乐高(Lego),我们经常发现他在自己的卧室里创作一款新车。

This child also has a knack for creating objects from the most unlikely materials. Over lunch, he refashioned our black KidZania lanyards into a pair of braces, which he slung over his T-shirt, attaching the clips to the belt of his jeans. Proud as I was of his style, I was struggling to think how we could turn this into a viable business plan.

这个孩子还喜欢用最不可思议的材料制作东西。午饭时,他把我们的趣志家黑色挂绳改装成了一对背带,他让背带跨过他的T恤,把夹子与他的牛仔裤皮带连接在一起。尽管我对他的品味感到骄傲,但我很难想象我们怎么能把这变成一个可行的商业计划。

What he and his brothers were really itching to do, however, was to have a go at the 60 salaried jobs on offer in the regular KidZania space.

然而,他和他的哥哥们真正渴望做的事,是尝试趣志家体验园提供的60种带薪工作。

They spent the rest of the day variously as paramedics called to the scene of a fire in the KidZania hotel; dressed up as policemen going out on patrol; ferrying packages between companies for the KidZania delivery business. They also trained to be pilots on the British Airways flight simulator, but for this they had to pay for their tuition rather than receive a wage. By the time we had to leave, each child had 22 Kidzos in his pocket.

在那天接下来的时间里,他们当上了救护人员,被电话叫到趣志家一个酒店的火灾现场;打扮成警察外出巡逻;为趣志家快递公司在不同公司之间递送包裹。他们还接受培训,成为了英国航空(British Airways)模拟飞行器的飞行员,但他们必须为这项培训支付学费,而不是获得报酬。等到我们不得不离开时,每个孩子兜里有22K币。

This seemed a decent sum until we got to the gift shop. Most of the toys cost at least 100 Kidzos. They could only afford a matching pencil and sharpener, for which the boys had to pool their cash.

这些钱看上去不少——直到我们抵达礼品店。多数玩具的售价都至少达到100K币。他们只能买得起一付配套的铅笔和转笔刀,孩子们还要为这些凑钱。

And what did we learn? First, if it is money that motivates you, forget a career in either public services or as a delivery driver.

我们从中学到了什么?首先,如果激励你的是金钱,那么就忘记公共服务部门的工作或快递司机吧。

My youngest showed me that being creative does not necessarily mean you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. He might not have a flashy gift from KidZania but he spent the rest of weekend proudly flashing his lanyard braces to passers-by.

我的小儿子向我证明,具有创造力不一定意味着你具备成为一名企业家的素质。他也许没有从趣志家得到一份抢眼的礼物,但他在周末的剩余时间里向路人骄傲地展示他的挂绳背带。

If only I can find a way of marketing them as a hot new fashion accessory online, and find a decently priced manufacturer. Then we might be in with a chance of paying off the mortgage.

但愿我能找到方法在网上营销它们,把它们作为热门的新款潮流配饰,并找到一家定价合理的制造商。然后我们就可能有机会还清房贷了。
 


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