Does your kid need a little help building their confidence, communication, initiative, time management, organisation or perseverance? 🗂🚀
I’ve spoken to so many parents who know how important these “soft skills” are for happiness and future success and want to make sure their kid builds these skills as much as their academic skills, if not more! Often they say, “I know my kid is smart and can do anything, they just need to work on ____” and list one or more of these skills. Some tell me they’ve tried to teach their kids themselves, but find it difficult to be consistent, especially with everyone always in the house thanks to COVID. Others tell me they’ve been looking for something to guide their kids in a fun and engaging way but haven’t found anything yet.
I went out talking to parents in the first place because, a few years ago, I had the insight that these skills really mattered but weren’t being covered well anywhere.
Who am I? I’m a Melbourne girl who moved to the US at 18 after receiving a full scholarship to Harvard. I’ve spent the last few years working in Silicon Valley startups and teaching kids about soft skills during the holidays in countries all around the world. Last year, I move back to Australia and join an investment program in Sydney, which where I met Philip, an amazing software engineer and the dad of 7 year old Elaine (in the photo). We quickly connected over the idea of teaching all kids soft skills and decided to join forces to create something his daughter and students everywhere would love.
What did we come up with?
We realised that the best way to go about it would be to give the kids fun challenges that they are excited to work on and provide an opportunity to highlight and focus on the development of these skills. The first challenge idea we getting the kids to start their own small businesses by designing a product, getting it manufactured, creating a website and making some sales. Along the way, the students would interview their customers, draft designs, get feedback, iterate on their designs, learn how to speak confidently about their product and business and persuade others to support them. We posted about the idea in a few groups around Sydney and got such a positive response that we put together a full curriculum and immediately began to run our first cohort of students. Meeting online once a week for 10 weeks, the students (ages 7 - 13) all designed amazing products and have ACTUALLY MADE SALES!!!! (I’m so impressed).
The Jr Entrepreneur Challenge: Students (Ages 7- 13) start their own online store by designing a product, getting it manufactured, creating a website and making some sales. Along the way, the students interview their customers, draft designs, get feedback, iterate on their designs, learn how to speak confidently about themselves and their product and persuade others to support them. Students meet weekly in small groups with their “coach” for 10 weeks on our online portal (built by Philip - he’s so cool) that has been designed especially for this program to be really interactive and fun for kids (unlike Zoom).
We ran the first large cohort with students all around Sydney last term and it was amazing to see how engaged, happy, inspired and proud the students were each lesson. They all designed awesome products with so much character and some have ACTUALLY MADE 10+ SALES!!!! (remember, these are 7 - 13 year olds). Here’s what the parents are saying:
⭐️ “Sylvie is loving the course, it's exactly what I hoped for her, she's energised learning it all and turned to me after completing one of her interviews and said "this is so fun!”
⭐️ “The experience has been excellent. Oscar is very excited to log in on Monday nights and participate. He is loving learning about the steps involved in the research, design and development of a product and business.”
⭐️ “This video is a testament to you getting through to the kids. Your focus on building confidence is the part I’m hooked on.”
On the back of a very exciting first cohort, I’ve brought a 2 more teachers onboard - the absolute best I found - and we’re ready to take on more students! If you have 7 - 13 yo kids who would love to have a go at starting their own online store, please join one of our free trial sessions in the next 2 weeks at www.abrility.com/register.
If you don’t think entrepreneurship is the right fit for your kid but love the idea of soft skills education, I hear you! We’re going to be putting together lots of other programs with the same philosophy soon and would love to hear from you about the topics you’d like to see next! Leave a comment with requests :)
And if your kids are a bit young but you’d still like to join us on this adventure, we’d love to have you join us on facebook (www.facebook.com/Abrility) and instagram www.instagram.com/abrility_education where we’ll be sharing what’s going on behind the scenes, alongside all the amazing businesses our students start!