We draw on our peers and colleagues a lot for help and advice and we also try to offer a lot in exchange. In the absence of much formal education on entrepreneurship, this practice of informal mentorship and 'paying it forward' is particularly important. Some entrepreneurs are very good at doing this and make it a consistent and regular practice to contribute to the cause of entrepreneurship.
One such woman, Patrica Helding
of Fat Witch Bakery
, is going about 'paying it forward' in a bit of an unexpected way!
I have long been a fan of the Fat Witch Brownies (- they are delicious!), but have always lamented the fact that I can't seem to find much information about Patricia herself, the story of her bakery, or journey into entrepreneurship. It is such a great business. There must be a great woman behind it!!
Then, last year Amy and I saw on the Fat Witch website that Patricia had also created and published a book for teens about entrepreneurship called Hannah's Homework. I was recently in the Chelsea market store and picked up a copy. Not only is it adorable, but it is also educational too!!
The story features Hannah Witch, a tween, who is encouraged by her mother to reframe a homework assignment as an entrepreneurial challenge. Hannah creates an idea and gives it a try. It doesn't quite go the way that she expects forcing her to quickly change her game plan on the spot. Then...Hooray! Success.
I was so impressed with this books ability to highlight so many of the qualities and characteristics relevant to entrepreneurship. And to top it all off, at the end of the book are activities and questions that help readers to analyze aspects of Hannah's story and formulate their own opinion about her decisions and outcome.
The questions, which address marketing, strategy, planning, operations, collaboration, role....the works, are tween age appropriate but are also just as relevant for adults and entrepreneurs.
So, we remain curious about Patricia Helding herself, but we continue to blindly admire her, not just for the business she has created, but also for furthering entrepreneurial education for girls and making such a beautiful contribution to this cause.
And of course, this all made us think about entrepreneurial learning and education. And how responsible we are for paying it forward by helping others learn about entrepreneurship.
* What more we can all do to help integrate entrepreneurship into curriculum for younger girls?
* What we can do to share our stories and make entrepreneurship more accessible?
* How do you teach and share your story?
Speaking of tween entrepreneurship...this summer, NY Magazine ran a story called "Working the Squeeze"
that featured several young lemonade stand vendors who shared information about the way they run their businesses. Truly educational!
One group working to teach entrepreneurship to younger women...Step Up
!! In addition to other professional development skills, these girls learn about running a business AND they will be visiting IGC as part of that process! more to come on this!