The United States Small Business Administration's (SBA) website defines an entrepreneur as a person who organizes and manages a business undertaking in order to assume a risk for the sake of profit. Basically, entrepreneurs see an opportunity to make money, create a venture to make money, manage the business venture, and earn profits.
Entrepreneurs can be any age. Just ask Anaya Jeter, an 11-year old student at Calvin Rodwell Elementary School in Baltimore City. Anaya recently saw an opportunity to raise money to purchase something that she really wanted: a Nook. The pre-teen worked with her Mom and siblings to sell enough candy to raise the necessary funds to purchase her desired treasure.
"I don’t know if I knew about the Nook, but my friend had one. I thought that it was cool to use. That was my motivation for selling the candy ... I raised a lot of money and it was fun. The candy I sell is a kind of business to me. I have to earn and manage the money," explained Anaya Jeter.
Anaya shared that her Mom won't allow her to spend all the profits that she earns. She has to tithe and save some of the money. "I wasn't so good with Math. I have to [learn how to] add and subtract money. When I buy my candy, I have to subtract from how much the box of candy is and when I go home I take the money that I made from selling candy and I add it to what I have so that we can know the total," explained Anaya Jeter.
Jeter's mom, Shantel, shared how a season of unemployment inspired her, Anaya, and her other two children to sell candy in order to raise money to buy Christmas gifts for their loved ones. "I came off 18 months of unemployment, and we wanted to buy Christmas gifts. My oldest daughter sold $500 in two weeks, and we were able to buy really nice Christmas gifts. The children sold the candy so fast I thought they ate it," quipped Shantel Jeter.
The loving mom explained that all her children have the knack for selling. However, she believes Anaya is the one out of the three that really understands the concept of savings. "Anaya is being modest about it [her success]. I have now started to teach her about budgeting. We are looking into an investment account for her and exploring the idea of getting a vending machine. She is supposed to pay herself, but she hasn't and the money is just sitting there," said Shantel Jeter.
Anaya stated that she keeps a cash journal in order to document her sales. This way she can determine which type of candy sells the best and how fast her money is growing. She said the Nook is the only thing she has really purchased with her profits.
But Anaya is no scrooge. She and her Mom came up with a Random Blessings idea to help others in need. Anaya identified someone at her school who really needed school supplies and she used some of her profits to purchase the supplies for her classmate.
Anaya Jeter, who has hopes of attending Spelman College in Atlanta, GA and becoming a teacher and a principal, is a wonderful example of a young entrepreneur in the making.