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Small Business Briefing

8 in 10 British kids want to become entrepreneurs: survey Add to ...

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Doctor, lawyer, astronaut...entrepreneur

Nearly eight in 10 -- 77 per cent -- of British kids one day want to start their own businesses. And nearly half -- 47 per cent - said they have always wanted to be their own boss, a survey has found.

The poll of 2,000 kids aged 11 to 18 was conducted to support the Ambition AXA Awards, launched by AXA UK, part of insurance and asset management company AXA Group. It will hand out prizes totalling £200,000 to five young British talents picked in enterprise, science, community, sport and the arts. Applications close in October and winners will be announced at the end of November.

The survey also found that entrepreneurial ambition was nearly even between the sexes, with 75 per cent of female respondents saying they wanted to run their own business in the future, and 80 per cent of male respondents saying the same.

Watching TV shows such as Dragon's Den and The Apprentice, as well as seeing the success of online businesses such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype may be helping to spark some of the entrepreneurial enthusiasm, the press release about the survey suggested. About 22 per cent of the kids who answered said they hoped to pursue online, digital or IT businesses.

And the kids lacking dreams to become entrepreneurs? Of the quarter who said they didn't want to become entrepeneurs, 40 per cent said they were worried about finding startup money, 38 per cent were put off by the risk of failure and 17 blamed a lack of confidence, the survey found.

Avon model lights up Africa's female entrepreneurs

Selling cosmetics door-to-door worked for Avon, and now a former investment banker is borrowing the model to help African women become entrepreneurs, a story in FastCompany.com relates.

The non-profit Solar Sister supplied 107 entrepreneurs in Uganda, Sudan and Rwanda with a $500 "business in a bag" to help launch businesses selling solar lamps door to door.

Selling solar lamps to the poor, the story says, is one way of illuminating some of the homes of the billions of people worldwide who lack electricity.

It's also a way of giving some economic power to women living in these places. As Solar Sister's site says, it aims to "eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity. We combine the breakthrough potential of solar technology with a deliberately woman-centered direct sales network to bring light, hope and opportunity to even the most remote communities in rural Africa."

Create buzz for your business

Looking for ways to bring some attention to your business? Here, Ramon Ray, self-described editor and tech evangelist, offers five strategies. They include: Create a contest; produce an event; volunteer your time; train customers; and, conduct a research study.


Nominations are open for the sixth annual MISTIC ( Mid-Island Science, Technology and Innovation Council) Innovation Awards, which aim to recognize achievements throughout Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Gulf Islands for science and technology innovations. There are a dozen award categories. Nominations must be in by Sept. 9; winners will be announced on Nov. 2.


Contest wins bring more than prizes

Speaking of contests, a lot of them are targeted to small businesses, writes columnist Mia Pearson, raising the question of whether they are worthwhile.

For her, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Advertising is no longer the way to build credibility for a product or service, she says; after all, she writes, anyone can buy an ad, but snappy jingles and catch taglines don't sway customers as effectively as they used to.

Instead, she says, contests are a way to go, not just for the prizes but also for the exposure, promotional punch and credibility that winning them brings.


Summer fun: working for mom or dad

One way to kickstart early entrepreneurial ambition may be to put kids to work at their parents' small businesses. We recently ran a piece about small business owners who are employing their children for the summer school break, hoping to introduce them to the family business, let them learn a few lessons about entrepreneurship, and earn a little dough in the process.

And for further inspiration about making childhood dreams about careers come true, last July we ran a story about Canadian astronaut Julie Payette, who aspired to drive the space buggy after watching the Apollo moon missions at her Montreal primary school.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeSmallBiz


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