By Heather Holst-Knudsen, CEO and Founder, KidBacker
Young entrepreneurship is taking root, growing, and blossoming right here in KidBacker’s home base of Sarasota, Florida. At the Pine View School for the Gifted, one student decided to start an organization called ThinkBox for peers with a hunger for knowledge about entrepreneurship in the real world. That student is Meghana Krishnakumar, and in short, she is awesome. So awesome, we invited Meghana to become an intern for KidBacker which she has been doing since June 2015.
Read our interview with Meghana and we think you’ll concur:
KidBacker: Meghana, tell us all about ThinkBox. What motivated you to start the organization? How does the organization work? What’s your mission for ThinkBox and its members?
Meghana Krishnakumar: ThinkBox is a community organization that helps to educate students in basic economics, finance, business, and entrepreneurship, and to motivate young adults to start their own businesses.
After I started taking AP Microeconomics in my school, I was inspired to bring what I learned to the rest of the community. I realized that there is no organization or program that educates students on how to start their own businesses at no cost to students. That is when I thought of starting an organization to help and engage students through local business entrepreneurs, university professors, and experts on this area of study.
By bringing in experts to the meetings, students will be able to learn real-world experience and take their first steps to start exploring the world of entrepreneurship.
Our mission is to provide an educational environment for students so they can have a better understanding of how to use business, economics, and finance to their own benefits and to be entrepreneurs one day.
KB: What are some of the challenges you faced in starting something like ThinkBox, and how did you overcome them?
MK: It was definitely a different and exciting experience to start my first organization, and it was hard to determine where to start. I reached out to my school’s Assistant Principal, Mrs. Nzeza, who helped me in connecting with Mr. Chris Laney at the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. Some of the challenges I expect to come are around finding speakers, event spots, and students’ availability after school.
KB: With your involvement in ThinkBox, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned so far about entrepreneurship or leadership that you think your peers should know?
MK: I think the most important thing that I have learned so far about entrepreneurship and leadership is that if you have an idea or thought or business plan, just start it. Once you start your idea, yes, you may have a long way to go, but making that first step is the most difficult one, and once you’ve achieved that, let your idea take off!
KB: Do you have any other business ideas or passions?
MK: I don’t have a business idea yet, but I am deeply passionate about the community. I have been an active member in my grade’s class office as Vice President for the last two years and am involved with several clubs and volunteer departments. I would like to see my organization grow and would like to take it to the next level where students get to compete for sponsorships with their ideas.
KB: Why should young people consider becoming entrepreneurs?
MK: It is important for youth to become entrepreneurs because it not only helps them become more knowledgeable on how the economy works, but also helps them build leadership and communication skills.
KB: In turn, what do you think youth can offer to the world of entrepreneurship and business leadership today?
MK: With today’s knowledgeable youth, I think there will be more innovations and creations to the world of entrepreneurship and business leadership. They will be the future leaders of the world.
Location: Sarasota, FL
Business: ThinkBox Organization
Mission: To educate and spread awareness to students about entrepreneurial thinking and about the business opportunities that surround them.
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