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Tuesday, March 27, 2012


X & Y Sweet Enterprises got busted today. See how this business started here. I think it is such a pity that Little X and Little Y have had their entrepreneurial wings clipped. If I were the Teacher, I would have feigned ignorance... and let the little kiddies have their fun. After all, Teachers can get away with not knowing how to spell... for missing out errors when correcting assignments... for correcting mistakes that aren't mistakes... so if I were a Teacher, I would probably get away with feigning ignorance.

Gee... the kids were running a perfectly legitimate sweet retail. They were learning plenty of things. Little X's brochure was hand drawn. Kids flipped her brochure and ordered sweets for the next day. The accounts ledger, I found out today, was designed like a bookie's books (or what I imagine a bookie's books to be, never having seen one). There were no REAL names in the books. The names were in CODE. Clearly, our 2 little entrepreneurs had foreseen that they would be busted one day no matter how far under the radar they tried to fly. So, they took steps to protect their clients, and wrote all their customers names in code. Now, I'll bet that the clients (which incidentally, included a school Principal)of the recently busted High End Prostitution Ring wish that their supplier of fresh meat had thought to do the same thing.

The 2 kids had a lovely partnership going. They negotiated and split profits with decorum. They kept proper records. They learnt to do service recovery because some clients complained that the sweets they had booked the day before had been accidentally sold to other children (who hadn't booked any sweets)... and had to be mollified. Little X even decided not to remind her Mom about her daily allowance because she was earning enough to spend at recess (self-reliance). If running a business was a bad thing then every second household up and down my street would be in jail.

But well... I guess it was fun whilst it lasted eh? Hopefully, Little X and Little Y experienced great fulfillment from this endeavour, and will keep the flame of their entrepreneurial spirit alive. I do know that Little Boy's entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well even though his caterpillar business was busted 2 years ago by his favourite Teacher. Read about it here.

Indeed, when The Favourite Teacher commented to Little Boy that the school was not a mall and that kids weren't allowed to buy and sell things in school, Little Boy had promptly moved his business dealings to just outside the school gate. You see, technically, that was not IN school. All would have been well except that one of Little Boy's clients, having taken possession of his new caterpillar, had rushed back excitedly INTO school to gush about it to Little Boy's Favourite Teacher (who was clearly everyone else's favourite teacher too). The Beloved Teacher came around and tsked at Little Boy, who folded up his business at the 2nd tsk tsk because he really loved that Teacher.

How do I know Little Boy's entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well? Aha! I know because he had told me yesterday that he was gonna propose to Little X that he could design a photo brochure for $4/=. "It's easy, Mom." he said, "Just take a picture of all the sweets together. Label them using Powerpoint. Print. I'll be done in 15 minutes." Hmmmmm... $4/= for 15 minutes... that's $16/= an hour, which is more than double what The Daughter was paid in January for waiting tables. Not bad for someone who hasn't even taken his PSLE eh?


Blur Ting said...

Oh, what a pity! We need this kind of life skills to survive in the real world. Can't the teacher see that?

petunialee said...

Ting - Yeah... I thought so too.

Malar said...

During my primary school time, I did sell sweets too! but not to this extend! We need this skill! Luckily my teacher never tell anything....or may be she didn't know....

Daniel said...

What a pity! Especially when some schools organise funfairs on the grounds of encouraging entrepreneurial spirit, yet clamp down on such natural outburts of enterprise. Maybe we would have more Singaporean entrepreneurs if teachers didn't blindly follow the rules and clamp down on them.

In my time when I was a P6 student, one of our schoolmates started selling Mamee noodles during recess time. As our classroom was a long 10-min walk---I mean, 6-storey climb from the canteen (and was in a different building to boot), there was naturally a lot of demand from our 4 classes during the short 30-min recess.

So much demand that about 3 competitors swiftly set up shop with their own supply chains (mostly mums). I think they typically got it at a cost price of < 10cents and sold it between 30 and 50cents. Some tried to play on class loyalties ("Hey, I'm from your class, buy from me"), some even tried product differentiation or offering more variety than others. A perfect place to apply microeconmics :)

Our teachers closed an eye -- partly because the proprietors struck a deal with the teachers. They appeased the teachers by voluntarily donating some of their profits to the class fund. Kind of like some MNCs getting into some companies by offering carrots to the government ;) So the sellers were happy, the buyers were happy because they didn't have to walk down, and everyone else was happy because we got free pizza from the class fund at the end of term :P

petunialee said...

Class fund!!

petunialee said...

Daniel - My son's school organises those fairs too!! *Scratch Head*