Why supporting kid entrepreneurs might solve the world's problems

School’s out for summer! But that doesn’t mean ideas are on break. Help the creative kid in your life dive headfirst into entrepreneurship.


Caine built a sweet arcade and is inspiring kids to be entrepreneurs. How can you support them? (Photo credit: Caine's Arcade)

You probably already know the story of Caine’s Arcade thanks to this Internet film that I’m sure left tears of joy all over your keyboard.

If you didn’t see it, the story goes a little something like this: Caine is a nine-year-old boy who built a DIY cardboard arcade in his father’s used auto parts shop in Los Angeles. The games went unplayed until one day, a filmmaker named Nirvan happened to need a car door handle. He bought the first Fun Pass. Then made a film.

Fast forward a few months later and Nirvan’s film has garnered Caine thousands of fans from around the world, inspired countless kids to make arcades of their own, generated a theme song, and get this, raised $500,000 for Caine’s college scholarship fund.

But not every little kid is as lucky as Caine.

Caine’s Arcade has made me more aware of the fact that there are budding entrepreneurs running around us everywhere — even though we might think they’re just listening to Justin Bieber and making awkward jokes.

So how we can help them bring their ideas to life? Besides heaps of encouragement, patience, and knowledge, here are some ways to get that creative kid in your life some dough to play with:

  • Caine’s Arcade Imagination Foundation: With help from the Goldhirsh Foundation, the newly founded foundation’s goal is to “find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in young kids.”
  • YesKidzCan: Their Social KidPreneurz Program gives kids in grades 3-8 the opportunity to receive $100 to start their own business, with proceeds going to a cause of their choice.
  • Ashoka Youth Ventures: Once limited to the U.S. but now expanding internationally, this nonprofit “inspires and invests in teams of young people to design and launch their own lasting social ventures.”

It’s not just money that’s needed; we also need a shift in thinking. “If we can get kids to embrace the idea of being entrepreneurial at a young age, we can change everything in the world that’s a problem today,” says Cameron Herold in a TED talk about raising kids to be entrepreneurs.

He’s got a point: they might just be the ones with the brilliant ideas to help the needy or save animals from extinction.

So think about the Caines in your life. Are you game to help him or her succeed?


For fun: Check out 10 Things 80s Kids TV Taught Me About Being a Social Entrepreneur on Pinterest.

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