How to raise a new generation of entrepreneurs in Ukraine? The answer to this question is revolves around two observations: to learn from the experience of the United States and to teach kids entrepreneurship at a very young age. Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Tymofeev), the founder of venture investment fund Adventures Lab, joined Business Camp in Ukraine to tell teenagers secrets of pitching.
The American experience is worth studying because the United States is the birthplace of brilliant business ideas and world-famous startups. To achieve the leading position, Americans created an upbringing system based on the development of an entrepreneurship spirit. There are two most common archetypes of young businesspersons – a kid selling lemonade and a teenage scout purchasing cookies.
Selling lemonade is good training on how to be a businessman. The kid not only makes lemonade but also sets the price, tries his hand at negotiation with clients, and earns his first money. Adults treat him like a real seller: they ask questions, discuss pricing, and pay money for the glass of lemonade. This helps young startuppers to improve their business skills.
Getting older, these children join scout organizations. Their new task is pitching: they have to convince others to buy cookies to cover the cost of participation in the scout organization. These children are not passive sellers anymore; they sell ideas and have to be convincing and credible.
According to Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Tymofeev), Ukrainian kids and teenagers need such kind of business training, too. They are creative, geeky, smart but they lack communication skills and a habit to talk to strangers about their ideas. Active communication and promotion of ideas are a way of building an enabling environment for future successful projects. The investor notes that the Ukrainian educational system still maintains ex-Soviet Union principles of raising an engineer, not a business person. That is why business camps that develop a new type of personality prepared for business challenges are so important. GoGlobal’s Business Camp was focused on creating business projects from scratch with the support of experts and mentors, Ruslan Tymofieiev was invited to share his knowledge about pitching and fundraising, selling ideas to investors. He believes, mentoring teenagers in such projects will become a usual social duty for many Ukrainian businessmen in the future.
During the lecture, Ruslan Tymofieiev shared his life story. He started to earn money on internet marketing being 17 years old, and his income was around 300-400 US dollars a day. Considering technologies that teenagers can use now, their profit can be even higher. This can be a good start.
The speaker explained that investors are looking for perspective projects and they are ready to give funding not only to “respectful” adults but to promising and ambitious teenagers as well. The portrait of the businessman changes, and it is important to keep in mind that anyone can become a founder of a unicorn company. Ambition, flexibility, and creativity win, not the age.
“Any school kid can become a successful businessman with the right approach and motivation. In ten, twenty years, no one will be surprised by a twelve-year-old millionaire, just as today no one is surprised by a sixteen-year-old startupper,” says Ruslan Tymofieiev.
The investor highlights that such projects as business camps that motivate kids to become drivers of technological progress are necessary.