How to Nurture the Entrepreneurial Gene in Your Kid?

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( — July 10, 2018) — Not only did the Startup ecosystem revolutionize the economy, but it also changed people’s perception of career and professional growth. Entrepreneurship is now fast gaining popularity as an acceptable and even desirable career choice. It is indeed inspiring to see trailblazing entrepreneurs making a mark for themselves socially and economically.

Most entrepreneurs display universally admired qualities of determination, grit, ingenuity, passion and, resilience. While it may not be possible for everyone to equal the success of the world’s most renowned entrepreneurs, imbibing the entrepreneurial spirit and developing the attributes and mindset of an entrepreneur can definitely help kids succeed in their life.

It has been a wide-ranging debate on whether entrepreneurs are ‘born with it’ or can these qualities be nurtured in our kids. A recent report by Ernst & Young (EY), titled ‘Nature or nurture? Decoding the DNA of the entrepreneur‘, clearly sides with the argument that there is no specific gene that can be said to set apart entrepreneurs. What this report suggests is that though nature-driven traits do matter to some extent, what is even more important is that these traits are nurtured and developed in future entrepreneurs. So, it is clear that the skills required to be an entrepreneur can be learned and further developed and parents have a very clear-cut role in this.

  1. Encourage Goal Setting and Planning

Future entrepreneurial success is in large part determined by right goal setting and effective planning. A good way to promote these capabilities is to encourage your children to write their goals in specific, measurable terms as well as list ways and actions required to achieve them.

To begin with, help them identify a small goal which will really drive them. It could be simply saving enough money to buy a favourite toy or going on a trip they want. Ask them to identify the steps they would require saving this money from their allowances and write these down. After a while, revisit the goals and see what success was achieved. This will soon become a habit.  

  1. Identify and Develop the Sparks of Inquisitiveness

A trait many entrepreneurs share is of inquisitiveness, of wanting to know more about things and diving deeper rather than just exploring things on the surface. Children are naturally inquisitive, ask numerous questions and are willing to experiment, yet often they find themselves being reprimanded for this innate curiosity and discouraged from experimentation.

As a parent, you can play an important role of inculcating in your kids the spirit of inquiry and urge to think over things. Take them on nature walks, where they can see and experience new things and then encourage them to find answers to any questions they have about these novelties themselves. Give them access to age-appropriate strategic games and puzzles. Also, encourage them to read books on the subjects that interest them rather than being limited to school books.

  1. Praise and Reward Hard Work and Efforts

Research conducted by Standford psychology professor Carol Dweck has confirmed that when children are praised for their efforts, they take on more challenges while too much focus on success alone may discourage them from doing so. Make it a habit to notice their efforts and hard work towards achieving their goals and appreciating them.

  1. Connect With Mentors

Many experts state that connecting your children to good mentors and a robust network is much more important than any other support you may be able to give them. Connect with mentors both inside and outside the family who are experts at things that your kids love. Kids having access to a ‘personal learning network’ in the form of friends and mentors who can offer good advice and show them the right path is critical for success.

  1. Teach Them to Deal With Failure

Often, we adults are embarrassed by failure, think of it as something to be ashamed of and never discuss it with our children. They, in turn, internalise these emotions and dread failure and often are unable to cope with rejection and setbacks.

Overcoming failure without losing their passion and zeal is the single most important survival skill for entrepreneurs. Rather than punishing children when they fail, encourage them to identify the causes of their failure and think about what it can teach them. Lead by example by openly discussing your failure with them and showing them that you too are learning from your failures.

Parents Need to Be Financially Prepared Too

Apart from nurturing the entrepreneurial skills of your child, it is also vital that you are financially prepared for your kid’s future. This specifically relates to having a financial backup in place for their education.

Child education plan perfectly fits the puzzle here. To accumulate the desired corpus for your child’s future, the premium you pay towards your child education plan is invested in your choice of equity, debt or balanced funds. In case of your unfortunate demise, the death benefit is paid out to your nominee as a lump sum. If nothing happens to you, the plan works like a good investment, and upon maturity, you receive the fund value.


All kids don’t need to be an entrepreneur at the end of the day, but nurturing certain traits such as creativity, clarity of vision, goal setting, and hard work will ensure that they turn into adults who are dedicated to whatever their choice of field is and are conditioned for success.