Overview of this project:
PMM teaches children from 3 to 16 years old entrepreneurship including costing, pricing, accounting, marketing, advertising, POS, salesmanship, product optimisation, general financial literacy and much more. We run markets at which they sell their goods & also assist them plan and set up their little business and have regular workshops. I have been running this project since January 2015 and have self funded to date. During the winter we trade once or twice a month as weather proof venues are limited, and in summer as often as each week. I assist the children to plan and attain the goals they set and this includes opening bank accounts, working out what to reinvest and how much they can afford to take as income. Concepts such as overheads, fixed and variable costs, capital investment and depreciation are all introduced in practical, age appropriate ways.
Each child is required to send in an advert before coming to market and to comply with certain point of sale requirements. They have to complete an accounting form showing their costings and profits and I have in the region of 1000 sheets on file. Everyone gets a certificate of participation as there are no losers, you either win or you learn. There are also awards in various categories each month and it is getting very competitive. As much as possible I keep track of what they are saving for and how much they are saving. In addition sustainable products and a long term strategy are encouraged as well as cooperation and collaboration with fellow traders where it is mutually beneficial. It all sounds a bit dry and technical here, but in reality they do have a lot of fun and are earning well. Average net profit is about R400 per stall but many consistently break the R1000 barier. The children are not obliged to come regularly but can book whichever markets they are able to get to.
Free workshops cover the following 5 modules:
1) Costing & Pricing
2) Marketing & Sales – Incl need identification, market research, 4P’s
3) Operational management – incl production, product optimisation, etc
4) Basic financial management – incl record keeping, capital investment, returns & profitability, depreciation
5) Online marketing & sales – get out of the sun, wind and rain!
All suitable for children from about 6 or 7 up to adults. Younger kids are welcome too although they won’t get quite as much out. Workshops are structured around a fun activity to keep it interesting and largely related to actual traders to keep it practical and real.
These cost me about R50 per child or R1000 per event. Any contributions are most welcome. Next events are 12, 13 & 14 July 2017.
The Pocket Money Market has two main aims: The primary objective is nurturing a spirit of entrepreneurship in young children with the long term goal that more South Africans will be able to sustain themselves independently. The second objective is to bring real and immediate income generation to families where the means for the children to join the Pocket Money Market are simply not available, via the outreach program.
We run at one third “outreach” and these kids receive start up assistance and ongoing support, transport and general help.
While there are many other entrepreneurship initiatives I have found that they are often prohibitively expensive to those who really need them and often they depend largely on parental assistance and this is in many cases not available. There is also I think a lot of theory being taught but insufficient practical application and with all the knowledge and planning, one difficult customer interaction has the potential to unravel an unprepared child. In addition most start from the age of 16 and I am having tremendous results with children as young as 5 and the majority interest if from 8 to 14 years old. The only cost is a tiny voluntary stall fee (20% of net profit with a maximum of R50) to introduce the concept of overheads and if needs be, I waive this either fully or partially until they are earning enough. All workshops and training are 100% free and many children are using the income to fund other extra murals and educational activities too.
I have a degree in economics from Stellenbosch as well as RE5and RE1 (Key individual) FAIS qualifications. I simply do not have the time for fundraising so I have self funded until now, however the project is growing and I am unable to carry the expenses or find the time to manage it while working the hours I do. I have done everything this far pretty much with no resources and it has been AMAZING. I am continuously blown away by what the children achieve. All the materials used in this project are my own, I have not based it on any existing concepts and I own www.pocketmoneymarket.com. I have not done any paid advertising in any media so all growth has been organic.
I have had a lot of great coverage from local & national newspapers and spoken of a lot of radio shows and we have made TV news too. The website traffic is good with hits from 60 countries and social media platforms are getting over 60 000 views a week . It is my belief that I have reached a tipping point and need to focus on this project. I have prepared a document with details and plans which is available via email (email@example.com) and there are reports of past events, photos as well as links to the online booking facility, and general information on this website and the social media links. I am however not a web designer and the only time I have for this is between midnight and 2am so while the information is all here, it is very much “no frills”.
I have a lot of ideas for the future and a number of possible ways of funding them and would love to take this nationwide.
I recently received this endorsement form Clem Sunter:
“Dear Linda…You are doing exactly what I have been recommending for years. We have to prepare pupils for the job market of today in which most of them will have to be entrepreneurs. Best of luck in continuing your initiative.”
I have thought about my wish list and here it goes:
Cash. The main thing is time, I put in an average of 30 hours a week unpaid. Its cost me one of my paid jobs so I am pretty skint. Plus I’m at least R30K in the red from funding this project to date.
Also need cash to fund new traders for startup – depends what they are doing but usually about R300-500 will do it.
A fast computer. Mine was stolen and I’ve replaced it with an old second hand laptop that takes forever to upload. This just about triples the time it takes to do anything.
Transport. I have a small, old, breaky down car. I transport all the outreach kids and this means several trips per event in areas with crummy roads. My mates who help out have similar transport issues and it causes epic stress and wastes a lot of time better spent doing stuff.
Help: I’m 44 and lug 20 to 30 tables at each event. Its breaking me so a pair of strong arms would go a long way. Volunteers are unreliable so maybe a small stipend to pay someone. Also Admin help to capture the accounting sheets, process the applications and refine all the info to feed back to the kids and improve sales. PR, marketing, and so on.
.com domain renewal +-R300
Airtime: I chew through about a grand a month as many people don’t have internet access, etc.
Data: I use about R600 a month
Fuel: This varies a bit but on average about R1000 a month.
Some more signage: Directional signs and ideally a banner too: From R2000 to R5000
Prizes for monthly winners and certificate printing
Lucky draw prize to incentivise sales (I am hoping for vouchers to the Aquarrium or similar)
Ebooks for seminars: R500
Money belts for traders to secure their cash.
I’d also love to get T-shirts or caps with the logo to identify the “crew” and give as prizes.
Sundries: Stationery, feeding the outreach kids at events and stuff like that always seem to add up.
It is crucial to me to keep this project at no cost to the kids, otherwise its never going to make an impact where most needed. Ideally I would like to cover my time and running costs while I am doing this part time and then grow it into full time incrementally.
And way up high on my wish list is a bus…it would make all the difference in the world for outreach and a heap of other things. My long term vision includes rural areas and holiday camps covering a host of different business types.
In addition I am looking for people to speak to the kids on a variety of subjects such as marketing and advertising, market penetration and diversification, capital investment and so forth.
I really do believe that this is worthwhile to a sponsor as the amount of goodwill I receive is overwhelming. I am open to suggestions and ideas and there is a huge amount of flexibility in the model.
There is probably a shed load more, but that’s about what I can think of for now. Any feedback and assistance would be most appreciated.
With kind regards
Banking Details: Acc Name- Live Lightly, FNB Fish Hoek Branch code 202309, Cheque Acc No: 62477646924