August 6, 2020
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One of the first things you notice when you start researching business books for kids is that most of these books are about lemonade stands. As any business owner knows, there is so much more to running a business than a lemonade stand can teach.

This is especially the case in today’s digital ecosystem. This technology has made it possible for pre-teens and teens to actually become millionaires. And although not many teens achieve this level of access, the ecosystem provides many opportunities.

And it is these opportunities kids can grab a hold on to and start early to make money and achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. Business books provide inspiration and lessons to lay the foundations early in life.

These are the best books on entrepreneurship for kids that, taken together, are like a mini-MBA for your budding entrepreneur kids.

1. Lunch Money

by Andrew Clements (Author), Brian Selznick (Illustrator)

The book looks at all of the obstacles an entrepreneur might go through. From finding a market through the hurdles of school regulations to how money changes you, personal relationships and even philanthropy. Add the illustrations from Brian Selznick and you have a great way to capture the attention of your kids while they learn about business.

Your little entrepreneur will be inspired to look for obvious opportunities as they follow the entrepreneurial adventures of Greg who discovers that almost every kid has at least a quarter left over from lunch. 

Read Lunch Money along with your kids and watch their eyes as the light-bulb goes on when they see what else he discovers. Whether you’ve got a little entrepreneur on your hands or you’d like to inspire a little entrepreneurial thinking, this book will help.  Ideal for elementary school age

2. Kid Start-Up: How YOU Can Become an Entrepreneur

by Mark Cuban, Shaan Patel, Ian McCue

With this book kids will learn how to spot opportunities, calculate demand, and do the work to launch their business.  While it does include the obvious “lemonade stand”, this business book also explores online businesses such as starting an Etsy store. Read this along with your kids and you just might discover your next family business.

Celebrity “Shark” Mark Cuban is well known for being a dad, so it makes sense that he’s partnered up to write a kidpreneur book. Written for elementary school-age kids Kid Start-Up: How YOU Can Become an Entrepreneur, teaches valuable lessons such as working hard, never giving up and collaborating.

3. Ethan’s BIG Business Plan

by Yu-Ting Hung, Ethan Hsu

The biggest lesson is to control your destiny, followed by lessons in how to spot opportunities, sell products and manage money. With the lessons from this book, your little one can apply real-world concepts from the book for their first business. And continue to grow with each experience whether they are a 10-year-old, younger or older.

The next time your kid throws a tantrum at the supermarket because you said “No!” — grab this book! Ethan’s BIG Business Plan is aimed at kids to make their own plans in order to reach their spending goals. A fun, well-structured way to help kids think through the finances and strategies to make it all work.

4. How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest!

by James McKenna, Jeannine Glista, Matt Fontaine

Best quote — EVER! “Millionaires are people who MAKE a million dollars, not spend a million dollars! Most businesses fail because of poor money management. Not everyone is meant for entrepreneurship, but everyone can be a savvy investor.

So whether your kid wants to start his or her own business or not, learning to manage their finances early is one of the best lessons they can learn. This is one of the books that will teach them how to invest and manage their finances.

Financial skills are not a part of traditional academia, so books like this can literally be worth their weight in gold. How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest! provides opportunities for conversation. It does so with respect to financial rules, philosophies, and habits that have generated interest and information that will last a lifetime.

5. Money Ninja: A Children’s Book About Saving, Investing, and Donating (Ninja Life Hacks 10)

by Mary Nhin, Jelena Stupar

Money Ninja offers a great way to teach kids the benefits of being sensible and generous with their finances from a young age, rather than instantly spending any money they earn or receive. As with the other books on this list, this book looks to instill responsibility early on. The book is geared for three-year-old kids going all the way to 11 years old.

This book is part of the Ninja Life Hack series in which Ninja characters teach children important life lessons. In this volume, Money Ninja: A Children’s Book About Saving, Investing, and Donating shows readers how he makes money with his candy machine, lemonade stand and social media posts.

6. What Do You Do With an Idea?

by Kobi Yamada

The author recognizes that ideas are living things. If nurtured and fostered can grow into something much bigger. The language and illustration will touch your heart so much, you’ll read it for yourself as much as your kids, 

This award-winning New York Times national bestseller book is full life lessons including perseverance, confidence, believing in yourself and ideas even when no one else does.

Every great business starts with an idea. But ideas can be fragile. Ignore them and they die, share them with the wrong people, and you can be talked out of them. What Do You Do With an Idea?  is the story about a little child, his anthropomorphized idea and how he brings it into the world.

7. Payback on Poplar Lane

by Margaret Mincks

Starting a business isn’t just about having an idea and making money. When a pair of sixth-grade entrepreneurs compete to become top mogul on their block, they encounter the ugly side of business and have to learn to deal with it.

Payback on Poplar Lane offers up lessons far beyond entrepreneurship.  It will take your kids on an emotional journey where they begin to understand what motivates and drives people. Fantastic lessons on friendship, collaboration and how to work with others.  However, it doesn’t stop there because there are even bigger lessons on what happens when you take big missteps.

8. Starting Your Own Business: Become an Entrepreneur!

by Adam Toren, Matthew Toren

The focus on completing projects step by step is a great way for a child to learn about the business world. And each project is an opportunity to further explore their ideas. Throughout the book, there are engaging icons, eye-catching images and even spaces for the reader to write their answers to open-ended questions.It finishes with some words of encouragement and a glossary.

This is part of the “Dummies” series of books written by young entrepreneur brother Matthew and Adam Torren. Ideal for the budding kid entrepreneur in your family who has an idea and needs practical steps to turn it into a business. Starting Your Own Business: Become an Entrepreneur! covers: the basics of entrepreneurial success, how to find your big idea, how to make a plan (and what to do with it once you’ve created it), budgets, marketing, product or service delivery and customer service.

9. Rufus the Writer

by Elizabeth Bram

This book takes a look at other business opportunities for your kid. A kids business doesn’t have to sell products, which is what Rufus the Writer shows. For all the creative kids who wonder how they can earn a living with their talent, this is a great book. It will show them they don’t have to give up on their dreams of becoming a writer, artist or other creative careers.

What if you don’t have a typical child on your hands? In this book, Rufus decides to open a “story stand” instead of a lemonade stand. Rufus the Writer is a celebration of creativity as an entrepreneurial avenue that is especially valuable in the digital age. One interesting aspect of the book is the focus of trading. So many entrepreneurial books for young people are focused on the hard skills of starting a business, however, this one teaches the lessons of trading one talent for another. 

10. Kid Millionaire: Over 50 Exciting Business Ideas

by Matthew Eliot

Like the title says, there are business ideas — and so much more. You’ll find personal stories, templates, how-to’s on everything from opening a bank account to building your own apps and websites. These aren’t just ideas pulled out of the air, they come from real kid entrepreneurs.

By highlighting examples from real kids, Kid Millionaire: Over 50 Exciting Business Ideas shows readers they can go after their dreams and make it happen. It makes it much relatable for a kid to see someone their own age going after .

More Business Information for Kids

If your young business person has read all the business books on the list or is looking for more resources, we have more suggestions.  After all, there’s more advice than books.  Check out the following free resources for budding entrepreneurs and kid businesses:

Kidpreneur Magazine — This is our digital magazine for young entrepreneurs. It’s a collection of our articles with advice and guidance for children and high school students — and their parents. From preparing your child to be an entrepreneur to encouraging their ideas, you will find practical help and inspiration. Read: Kidpreneur Magazine.

Business Ideas for Teens – Ready to jump right into starting a business? Or perhaps you want to research business startup concepts along with reading a good business book or two. If you need ideas, we have plenty! High school students can easily start a business at home and we’ve collected a number of options to consider. These suggestions do not require a lot of money, and none are very complex.  Read: 50 Business Ideas for Teens.

Teaching Children the Value of Commitment – The foundation of starting a business is commitment. Children have to understand the value of committing to an idea, principle and goals early in life. With plenty of examples of many successful entrepreneurs who stuck to their commitment, it is easy to why it is so important. Read: Parenting a Child Entrepreneur.

National Lemonade Day – Did you know there’s a holiday just for encouraging young entrepreneurs?  Called National Lemonade Day, it occurs on the first Sunday of May annually and the next one is on Sunday, May 2, 2021. This event is a great way to show community support, and make children feel like entrepreneurship is valued.

Saving for a startup fundAny young person will be more committed to success if he or she has skin in the game.  Teach young people how to forgo spending their allowance on discretionary items, and instead save it up to start a business.  See our savings calculator to get started. 

Early Lesson

The early lessons these business books provide for kids will last a lifetime. As budding entrepreneurs, the business principles they learn now will serve them well in the future.

This article, “Top 10 Business Books for Kids” was first published on Small Business Trends