Welcome to the Bridges to Wealth (B2W) blog & podcast series that explores the culture of entrepreneurship, financial freedom, and community. B2W is a non-profit organization based in the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships and on a mission to build communities of wealth, in Philly, and beyond!
I got a chance to talk to Aliah Harris, Kayla Daniels Redden, and Sam Palmer (All 12th Graders at Robeson High School and members of the B2W Youth Entrepreneurship Incubator) about their experiences as student entrepreneurs. These students are entrepreneurs and looking to create a life of financial freedom for themselves. We talked about some advice that they would give to other students who are looking to do what they are doing and some ways that the adults in their life could support them.
STUDENTS TO STUDENTS
Sometimes in life, we see something someone is doing like building a business or creating a product but we’re not sure exactly what they are doing (as in all the steps) or how they are doing it. Here are some tips and advice for other students who are wanting to start their own business but don’t know where to start. The first thing is if you want to do something don’t let anyone discourage you from doing it. If there’s an opportunity that you want, go take it. There’s enough money out there to be made by everyone so don’t be discouraged by the thought of maybe someone else is doing it or why would anyone want something from you. Another tip is to stay on top of what you start. If your idea is going to work you have to keep working on it. Make sure you surround yourself with positive and uplifting people because they will help lift you up as well. And if someone ever tries to put you down realize that it’s their opinion and not one you have to follow. Don’t let what people say to discourage you, just keep chasing after your dreams.
STUDENTS TO ADULTS
We then talked about how the adults in their lives can support them. The students said the biggest thing is to just have patience. Kids can be very hard-headed at first and it’s because they are still learning. They want to learn and experience some things themselves. As adults, you’ve probably done it and have an idea of what you think is the best way but sometimes kids want to figure it out for themselves. They also said adults can help by listening to them. Sometimes adults will talk at students and not really to students. When you’re teaching a student let them participate and ask questions, don’t just lecture. And if a student comes to you with a problem don’t brush them off because it’s “not a big deal”, because if they are coming to you with this problem it is a big deal to them. Also, remember sometimes students just require assurance. They want someone to look at them and say “it’s okay to feel that way, you’re doing a good job and you’re going to be okay”.
Everyone benefits from support. If we can learn how to support each other and build each other up then we can accomplish anything. It’s wonderful that these students are diving into these endeavors at such a young age and we get to do everything and anything to give them the support they want to keep going and be successful. You can listen to this entire conversation on Episode 3 of the B2W podcast.
Written by Gregory Nesmith, Community Relations Director & Entrepreneurship Mentor at Bridges To Wealth, Founder & CEO at UNderdogstuff, a member of Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship’s VIP-C Incubator, Philly native, and soon to be Wharton School alum. www.GregoryNesmith.com.
1. Podcast Audio:
2. Video of Podcast Episode: