The Startup Club is a fun fiction book which will both engage your early reader with its story and teach them age-appropriate lessons about finances and starting a business. Check out our Q&A with the book’s author, JJ Ramberg, an award winning financial journalist and host of MSNBC’s Your Business.
1. What inspired you to write a book for children? Why The Startup Club?
Kids are natural entrepreneurs. Just this last summer, I bought a bracelet, slime, painted shells, and, of course, lemonade from kids who were starting their own businesses. But, I could not find a good fictional book for elementary aged kids with characters who were doing the same. The Startup Club: The Big Idea is an engaging, fun, fiction book that follows a group of friends as they start their company CJ Chainz. Through the story, readers learn (in an age appropriate way) about the difference between revenue and profit, competition, marketing and more.
2. Why do teachers need to know about this book?
The Startup Club is a great way to have kids learn what it takes to run a business. It really taps into kids' natural interest in running a company. If teachers want to use this as teaching materials, it also touches upon so many school subjects (math: revenue - expenses = profit; writing: designing the marketing materials; art: making the sign; social studies: you can do price comparisons by going into local stores..and more!
3. The book tells a fun story about kids starting a business, but it also teaches valuable lessons. What’s the most important lesson that kids can learn from reading this book? Why?
We think it's very important for kids to start to feel comfortable understanding money from an early age. This book uses entrepreneurship as a way to start to teach children to be financially literate. In addition, so many of our kids are already starting businesses -- this book turns their projects into actual learning moments.
4. What’s your best piece of advice for a young student who’s inspired to start their own business, like the characters in The Startup Club?
They should do it! But, keep in mind, it might take more time and more work than you expected. So, stick with it!
5. What does giving back mean to you? How can we inspire young generations to be philanthropic and engaged in causes?
I grew up in a family where giving back was a part of our ethos. And now I'm the founder of Goodshop, a coupon company which donates a percentage of purchases to a cause. To date, we've donated nearly $13 million to causes ranging from The American Cancer Society to local dog shelters. When I was growing up, community service was a requirement in my school and that was a great way to expose the students to different ways to give back. I encourage all teachers to have projects in their classroom that give back to the community in one way or another.