It’s money time for business children [Archives:2007/1065/Last Page]

July 5 2007
A moment for a business child when he is busy with his customers. He happily presents them with his goods.
A moment for a business child when he is busy with his customers. He happily presents them with his goods.
Fatima Al-Ajel
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Every day when he goes to buy sweets and chocolate from the neighborhood store, Aziz dreams to earn so much money that he could one day buy the whole shop. Although Aziz Qanaf is barely 12 years old, he decided to make his dream come true even if partially. This smuuer, Aziz embarked on the first step in his way to becoming a businessman.

During summer vacation, children have more free time in their hands. Many Yemeni children enjoy the summer in playing and entertainment. But others especially in the old areas, try to use their time in doing some thing of benefit to them. In the first days of the summer vacation, they start brainstorming about what they can do. “To be a Businessman” is the most attractive idea for many children who are actually from the middle or poor families' incomes.

This is the starting bud of summer business-children. But this however is somewhat limited to boys who are more business oriented than girls.

Once the idea is concrete, with assistance from their parents, kids start to plan the implementation. While, girls are happier with either playing or staying home helping their mothers in domestic chores.

Thinking business

These projects make children think about their future in an organized and serious way. They spend time planning for what to do and how to start the project. Some times, they ask their parents for advice, while some go directly to the real businessmen in their neighborhoods, such as the shopkeepers.

Identifying the business location is the first step in the project. Some can rent or build a small shop for starting their business. While others who can't afford such luxury use card wood boxes to put the goods in them and launch off their career as street vendors. The later business-children limit their goods to one or two things such as eggs or potatoes.

Emad Ali, 13 years old, started his business with his father's support who gave him 10 thousands YR to finance the project. Emad used a small room in his neighbor's house. “Every day I pay 20 YR as a rental for the room and now I earn every day about one hundred.” Emad proudly said.

Social relations and strong competition

It is amusing to see children competing amongst each other in the business world at a very early age. They open their small shops one next to the other and strive to win the customers. They use many attractive tactics through making discounts or luring people at an early hour. There is also publicity and badmouthing the competition.

Business children realize that by building relations they can ensure a successful business. Hence, they lobby in groups, each group promote their young businessman. Some enthusiastic business children start off an early hour of the day and go from door to door knocking on their neighbors and offering their goods for sale.

“Some time, I ask my brother to sneak a peak a look in other shops and see what goods are not there, and I go to buy them to be get an edge over the others by selling unique goods,” an amused Emad said.

Sociology studies indicate that imitating older people is considered a behavior children acquire from their environment especially from family and friends.

“The nature of the child is to be curious about what is going on around him or her. A child always likes to investigate new things in his life and tries to practice them.” Qyaid Al-Sharjabi, professor in sociology at Sana'a University, Art collage noted.

He added: “Unconsciously, a boy uses his father or an older masculine figure as a role model. And all the time, he tries to imitate him.”

“Children who like to create businesses and spend their free time generating income are likely to have a bright future and their families have to give more attention to them.

Parents have to encourage their children through both education and developing their talents and skills.” Al-Sharjabi advised.

However, many children prefer to spend the holiday improving their skills through studying a new language or gaining computer skills. Such children are generally the customers of the business children.

Luckily for the real businessmen, children practice do business only during holidays. At the end of the holiday, Aziz and the other business children conclude their business and close their shops until the next holidays, when they may start their next projects with new ideas and dreams.

“I only like to spend holiday doing business, but when school starts, I focus on my studies,” Aziz concluded.