August 15, 2011

Entrepreneurship At Any Age

After a week of heavy financial-focused posts and a rollercoaster ride in the economic markets, I figured we needed to start this week with something positive.   It just so happens that last week my family sent me a copy of the Jackson Hole News & Guide, their local newspaper, with an article about small food entrepreneur 12-year-old Ciel Colon Nguyen.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a link to the article online otherwise I would post it because this is a story that will put a smile on your face.  In a nutshell, this past summer Ciel decided that he wanted to work and make money during summer vacation.  Since child labor laws prohibit 12-year-olds from working, Ciel decided to create his own job!  Ciel started Ciel’s Snack Attack Cart and, after contacting Friends of Pathways – the local nonprofit trail maintenance organization, he was able to secure a spot to sell his goodies alongside a popular walking/biking/running trail in town. 

Every morning Ciel wakes up at 6am to bake fresh cookies and brownies and he squeezes lemons to make the handmade lemonade that he sells trailside.   Then the 12-year-old loads everything into the Ciel’s Snack Attack Cart that’s attached to his bike and bikes almost 4 miles to his trail location.   Once there, the newspaper reports that he sings throughout his 8-hour day to attract passersby.   A true businessman, Ciel has even negotiated with a local grocer to recieve a discounted rate on the ingredients he needs in exchange for promoting that store to his customers.  Ceil also give 5% of his net revenue back to Friends of Pathways.

Why is he working so hard when other kids his age are lounging by the pool or playing video games?  Ciel says that he’s saving up to buy soccer cleats and, if he makes enough  money, bike jerseys for his friends.   How can you not be inspired by his story!

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