|June 16 2014 |
With imagination and a well-defined end goal in mind seemingly disparate interests can be turned into a business venture. Take a career in finance and a love for children for instance. What could a business venture that combines these two possibly look like?
Fast forward to Hong Kong, the home of former Wall Street trader, Anuja Agarwal, and you find Pinnacle Learning Centre which teaches children aged four to 14 financial literacy.
Agarwal told the China Morning Post that while she enjoyed working for big Wall Street banks on equity markets, she wanted to do something more exciting after becoming a mother.
She is concerned that children of affluent parents take the privileges they grow up with for granted and don’t appreciate their real value.
Her ideas for teaching children financial responsibility include but go further than pocket money for chores. Young children are given piggy banks to decorate and then play money that they have to manage, allocating it for different purposes.
For older children the Pinnacle Learning workshops that operate from different schools and NGO’s can last up to six weeks and culminate in a certificate. Children discuss why governments can’t simply print more money to hand out to the poor, they learn about different currencies and exchange rates and discuss how farmers grow produce and sell it to markets. Agarwal uses many games to get financial principles across.
Needless to say, the curriculum also includes a section on entrepreneurship. Pinnacle Learning Centre has a competition for children from eight to 14 to start a small venture of their own, which involves writing a business proposal that can be submitted to an online portal.
Learning should be incorporated in daily life
Agarwal believes there are ample opportunities for parents to teach their children about the real role of finances in their daily lives. When the family travels they can discuss the currency of the countries they visit and how it compares with the Hong Kong dollar. They can decide on a budget for family outings and stay within that budget and not allow a sudden whim for a toy or an ice-cream to dent it.
The Pinnacle Learning Centre may be focused on children of affluent parents, but the principles at the basis of the undertaking would benefit children from all walks of life. There would be many fewer adults struggling with debts if schools included financial acumen classes in their curriculum.
Source: South China Morning Post bit.ly/1lxXTyU