Starting kids on right track
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - April 29, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Now that kids are on their summer break, what’s the best way to keep them busy and productive?

Sure they can indulge in sports and other travel adventures, but how about getting them interested in making their own money for a change?

Instilling values of thrift, hard work and saving will go a long way towards making kids more self-sufficient, responsible and independent, molding them into enterprising young adults in the long run.

That’s the basic premise of Junior Preneur, an annual trade bazaar that aims to inspire entrepreneurship and increase financial literacy among kids.

Now on its third year, the event will be held on May 4 at the Greenhills Shopping Center’s Jewellery Center exhibit area.

Using a personal experience as inspiration to create Junior Preneur, mother entrepreneur Cherry Genato organized the Junior Preneur Org, and held its first bazaar last 2012. It aims to teach kids the value and importance of money and let the kids experience an entrepreneurship selling exercise.

Junior Preneur gets an even bigger push with the support of San Juan Vice Mayor Francis Zamora. Himself a staunch entrepreneur, the hands-on public servant prides himself with engaging in similar entrepreneurial ventures as a kid. Such real-life experiences further honed by a Business and Entrepreneurship degree from New York University armed him with the management skills to run his several restaurant businesses such as TGIF Alabang Town Center, Italianni’s Mall of Asia, Banana Leaf Asian Café Promenade, Greenhills and Goldilocks, Greenhills.

For Zamora, nothing beats the sheer joy and far-reaching benefits of such hands-on, real-world experience. He says, “It is not Junior Preneur’s objective to generate very high sales during our bazaars. In fact, some of them do not even make ROI, but the kids and parents feel happy after the bazaar because of the values they learn by engaging in business.”

The more exciting 2014 Junior Preneur is co-directed by 2003 Bb. Pilipinas World Mafae Yunon-Belasco, mother, and wife of PBA Player Nic Belasco. With her great combined professional and motherhood experiences, she inspires families to participate, get supporters and attract every individual to be part of Junior Preneur.

The Junior Preneur Org aims to give a memorable experience to kids who aspire to be entrepreneurs in the future.

Despite the primary objective of sharpening the kids’ business acumen, the organizers also aim to encourage the nobler spirit of giving and sharing. Proceeds from the bazaar have been earmarked for the Right Start Center in Barangay West Crame, San Juan City, an NGO for underprivileged children. For the past two years, Junior Preneur had also donated to the Cribs Foundation and Tahanan Santa Luisa.

Several celebrities and their kids are also joining the event, including Venus Raj; Shamcey Supsup; Venice and Lorin, the daughters of Ruffa Gutierrez; Danica Sotto-Pingris; Bianca Valerio; Abby Asistio; Dani Castano, and other pro-basketball cagers and sports personalities with their kids and families such as Kiefer Ravena, Vince Hizon, Patricia Hizon, Doug Kramer, Chesca Garcia-Kramer and their children, and LJ Moreno-Alapag.

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