How I introduced my kids to entrepreneurship – Bola Adefila COO Banrut Rolls

How I introduced my kids to entrepreneurship – Bola Adefila COO Banrut Rolls

Banrut Rolls was recently featured in The Guardian as the COO recruited her children for  the  summer in the family business to teach them about hard work and earning money. Enjoy her piece published in the  Guardian on Sunday July 16

Children naturally love and relish the fine things of life and their demand for same is endless.

A few weekends ago there was a usual random request for a treat by my kids, Kitan and Nimi which led to a conversation regarding the value of money and hard work.
Their dad and I made them realize that from the moment they wake up till the time they go to bed, money is being spent.
One of them exclaimed “how”? Because in their opinion, spending only takes place when things are being bought for them or when money is actually spent in their presence.

We had to explain to them that from the use of their toiletries, to the water they drink and shower with, the TV they watch, the Air conditioning they enjoy, down to the car that takes them to school, it all costs money!!!

So this summer, their dad and I concluded that an excellent way of teaching the girls the value of money and hard work is to introduce them to the concept of entrepreneurship by having them spend part of their summer holiday interning (with pay) with us at the family business BANRUT ROLLS where we manufacture quality and hygienic toilet rolls, kitchen rolls, serviettes and tissues.

Working at the business will give the kids the opportunity to make their own money and make responsible decisions on what to do with the money. Also, the kids will get to gain life skills that cannot be taught at school but can be caught while actively participating in the running of a business. Skills like Team work as they work with other employees, Creativity as the come up with new ideas and suggestions for the company, Problem solving, as they come up with solutions to problems they face on the job, Financial literacy as they make decisions on what to do with the money they earn from the internship experience, and Self-confidence as they learn to air their opinions in the midst of the adults they work with and not feel too scared about doing so.

The girls get to work in the various departments of the business: cleaning, packaging, store, quality control, marketing and Admin so that they can get a sense of how the business is run and the hard work it takes to make the business successful enough to be able to provide for their needs.

Catching them young is quite exciting and challenging.

Exciting for them because they are able to earn their own money and also get to work with adults as team mates which is a totally new experience for them.
Exciting for me as a parent seeing them engage themselves in constructive activities rather than sit at home and waste away the holidays.

Challenging because as children, this is a completely new experience for them and as such they can’t absorb it all, so they have to be paced and the processes have to be trickled down for them.

I believe it has become imperative to introduce our children early to entrepreneurship and to help them appreciate the notion of hard work, not only because it helps them succeed in life, but it also helps our nation to prosper. Entrepreneurs are the driving force of an economy.

While having a chat with the children during their time out, I deemed it necessary to further educate them on the BANRUT ROLLS legacy, how we have positioned our brands as a proudly Nigerian brand, and of course how far they can take the business if they decide to join the family business in future.As a parent I believe family businesses shouldn’t be gifted to children and shouldn’t be seen as an obligation either but it should be earned and also be seen as an option for the child.Making our children good entrepreneurs does not just happen; it must be deliberate, intentional and strategic.