Is it ever too early to teach kids about business?

18/07/2023 by Ali Sajwani

I firmly believe it is never too early to teach kids about business. Arabs are renowned for their entrepreneurial spirit, and I believe it’s our duty to instill a sense of this spirit from a young age.

Instilling an entrepreneurial mindset and providing business education have significant benefits for children’s development and future success.

Growing up with an entrepreneurial father, Hussain Sajwani, meant our family business values and vision were instilled in us all from a very young age. Our father would involve us in business discussions during family meals and seek our opinions and insights. This approach allowed me to gain a deep understanding of all aspects of the business, from products to pricing and more.

My father encouraged and allowed me to start work with DAMAC at the age of 13, reporting to project managers and spending time at construction sites. I learned to read balance sheets and understood everything from gross margins to valuation metrics and how to price our products – it was the best training ground anyone could ask for.  

Now, my youngest brother Mehdi attends meetings during school breaks to help nurture his interest in the business.

This is why I firmly believe that introducing business concepts and principles to children at an early stage helps foster essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and financial literacy.

By teaching our kids about business, they learn the value of money, the importance of budgeting and the basics of financial management. These skills lay a strong foundation for their future financial independence and decision-making.

Early exposure to business concepts encourages our youth to think creatively, identify opportunities, and develop an innovative mindset.

By understanding the fundamental principles of business, children can learn how to turn their ideas into reality and explore entrepreneurship as a potential career path.

Is it ever too early for a young person to acquire the knowledge needed to transform their visions into tangible outcomes and delve into their entrepreneurial spirit?

By fostering an understanding of fundamental business principles early on, we enable children to embark on a journey of entrepreneurial exploration and unlock their potential as future business leaders.

Teaching kids about business also instills essential life skills such as communication, negotiation, teamwork and leadership.

Of course, these skills are not only relevant in the business world but also valuable for personal growth and success in any field.

Learning to work in teams, effectively communicate ideas, and negotiate fair outcomes prepares children for future collaboration and helps build confidence.

Discovering how to navigate differences of opinion and find mutually beneficial solutions strengthens their ability to work collaboratively in diverse settings. This collaborative mindset fosters innovation, empathy and respect for diverse perspectives, essential traits in our rapidly evolving world.

And negotiating fair outcomes encourages children to advocate for themselves and others, promoting a sense of fairness and equality.

These skills and attributes, acquired early, contribute to personal growth, empower them to tackle challenges, and, I believe, cultivate a strong foundation for success in life.

Specifically in the UAE, providing business education to kids aligns with the nation’s vision of nurturing innovation and preparing the next generation of business leaders. We should cultivate a pool of young entrepreneurs who can contribute to future economic growth and innovation.

Early exposure to business concepts encourages children to think critically about social and environmental issues. By integrating topics such as sustainability and social responsibility into business education, we can inspire kids to develop businesses that make a positive impact on society and the planet.

We have an incredible opportunity to ignite a passion in children for creating businesses that truly make a difference. Teaching them the importance of taking care of the environment and being socially conscious sparks their imagination and empowers them to grow up to create enterprises that contribute positively to society and the planet.

If we encourage learning about ethical practices, environmental stewardship and community engagement, it will foster a sense of purpose, hopefully inspiring them to be compassionate leaders and change-makers.

Introducing business concepts, financial literacy and fostering an entrepreneurial mindset from a young age means we empower children with essential life skills, encourage innovation and prepare them for future success.

But business education – especially if we are preparing them for the future – must include strong human elements. The world of work has changed, and is ever-evolving. Our children must understand how to balance sales with sustainability, economics with ethics and profits with people.

Ultimately, teaching kids about business not only benefits their personal growth, but also contributes to the development of a vibrant and entrepreneurial society.

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