Tycoons of tomorrow in training | Inquirer Business

Tycoons of tomorrow in training

/ 02:11 AM April 09, 2023

Tycoons of tomorrow in training

START ‘EM YOUNG Alliance Global Group CEO Kevin Tan (center, back row) with (from left) Quinto Oreta, Maiki Oreta, Michelle Tan and kiddo-preneurs. —Contributed photos

Gen Z kids are digital natives but can they actually be business-savvy?

For the Oreta family, entrepreneurship lessons started when mom Maiki and her daughters Brielle, now 17, and Ava, 13, cofounded Kiddo-preneur in 2011. It is “a socially oriented organization that aims to promote business and entrepreneurship among the Filipino youth” and provides early training and support to kids who are interested in building a business.


Before the pandemic, Kiddo-preneur was highlighted by selling events held in the summer and Christmas season, featuring booths conceptualized by kids aged 5 to 17. The advocacy aims to provide a safe space for kids to be little entrepreneurs and learn financial habits, from making business plans to managing their earnings.


Maiki, a business broadcast journalist, came up with the idea of holding an educational summer event for students—but it should be fun. “Kiddo-preneur encourages them to think like entrepreneurs, but at the end of the day, it’s an activity for kids,” she says in a Zoom interview.

Tycoons of tomorrow in training

BUSY BEES The kids of Zino’s Eco-friendly Charcoal, Tiago Elvina and Zino Dualan

For its 2023 return, the Kiddo-preneur bazaar was held on March 26 at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City during the 55th Annual Horse Show. Around 40 booths managed by kids were set up, with the help of their parents, of course. Chief financial officers were there to support the kids; Albert de Larrazabal of Ayala Corp. gave the welcome remarks and Mark Yu of Seaoil talked about innovation.


“The booths sold out quickly, and we had a pretty long waitlist. It was a nice postpandemic comeback,” Maiki says. “The Manila Polo Club doesn’t host events like these, and being a club, no cash transactions are allowed onsite. But since this was for the kids, and to spur the country’s next generation of entrepreneurs, they welcomed us so warmly.”

Tie-dye shirts and kawaii cupcakes

Kiddo-preneur wants kids to imagine, create and sell. This involves coming up with a profitable idea and turning it into an immersive experience.

Tycoons of tomorrow in training

SOMETHING TO DRINK? Lavender Cafe kids Dior Barrido and Khloe Cu serving lavender lemonade and iced tea.

It was a family event at Manila Polo Club that Sunday where kids sold stuff such as tie-dye shirts, handmade clips, art kits and mystery bags. Food items like kawaii cupcakes, popcorn, lavender iced tea, smoothies and sugar-free treats were sold too.

One of the pioneer sellers is Ava who has been selling caterpillar kits since she was 5 years old. She is now a kiddo-preneur pro at 13.

“My older sister Brielle and I have a business called Science in a Jar,” Ava says. “Each caterpillar kit is P350. It includes a caterpillar, leaves for its food and a small twig for it to crawl on—all in a glass jar container with a mesh cover.” It was a hit for kids and adults who bought jars to watch the caterpillar transform into a butterfly.

Tycoons of tomorrow in training

SIBLINGS Ava and Mario Oreta of Science in a Jar

Ava says she “learned the importance of knowing your product inside and out” and grew with her business.

“At 5, I passionately explained the process behind the caterpillar’s transformation to my customers. And because I’m older now, I’ve fine-tuned my sales pitch. I also learned the value of hard work and the importance of knowing how to earn my own money.”

Her big tip to new kiddo-preneurs: Think out of the box and develop your own original concept and ideas.

“Find a need with something you are passionate about,” Ava says. “My family loves caterpillars and butterflies, so we found a way to make a business based on those interests.” Later on, she also saw the importance of social media presence for her business. “We unfortunately did this late, but we are learning and growing with each and every mistake, and we are constantly improving.”

Mindset for success

As an organizer, Maiki says challenges include preventing overstocking and changing of products from the initial plans. She also reminds the participants and parents that the short-term benefits of joining Kiddo-preneur may be earning extra cash for a day, but the long-term impact is nurturing a mindset for success and “creating a stronger economic base for the country through job generation, thereby fighting migration and ultimately, the brain drain.”Aside from teaching kids about basic money management, marketing and sales strategy, Kiddo-preneur values developing grit. “Entrepreneurship teaches kids how to survive and prosper in an uncertain world. The skills they pick up are not only good to know; they’re essential.”

It is also nice to see kids focused on their businesses and less on their gadgets during the event, Maiki observes.

“Unless they are using a fintech platform like GCash or a calculator, you will not see a single kiddo-preneur on a smartphone,” she says. “These kids are busy, engaged and in tune with their surroundings. They are driven, hard-working and eager to make a sale.”

Kiddo-preneur 2023 was capped with an awarding ceremony attended by broadcaster Ces Drilon and Manila Polo Club president Christina Bautista.

Tycoons of tomorrow in training

LIL’ SHOPKEEPERS Best Ad winners Joshua Anna Solon of J&A Snacks & Crafts.

“Best Ad” was awarded to Joshua and Anna Solon who sold do-it-yourself crochet kits, sweets and sugar-free iced tea.

“Best Concept” winner was Storm King for her Snack Strong booth, which served creatively named snacks like It’s Good Dough and Not-tella Spread. She also gave a free cookie to customers who did 10 burpees.

Tycoons of tomorrow in training

SOMETHING TO EAT? Best Concept winner Storm King of Snack Strong.

Alessi, Siena and Mira Elizalde won “Best Design” for their Jammer’s Whips booth. The team of Katy Tan, Drew Tan, Matty Tan, Kenzo Tan, Ethan Tan, Connor Sy, Chloe Sy and Cate Sy of Sprinkles Sundae Shop bagged the “Best in Service” award.

Kiddo-preneur will launch a partnership with Ayala Malls starting May. A booth may be shared by two sellers and Maiki encourages the tycoons of tomorrow to get out of their comfort zones and sign up: “If you want to learn how to swim, you need a pool. If you want to learn about entrepreneurship, you need a business. With over 8 billion people in the world today, to stand out, you need to develop your own unique concept, build your own brand and you will thrive.” —CONTRIBUTED

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Email kiddopreneur@gmail.com; follow @kiddo_preneur on Instagram, kiddo-preneur.com.ph.

TAGS: kids, Sunday Biz, training, Tycoons

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