Thursday, 26 June 2014

My Do and Get Book

(First appeared in Consumer News Namibia Magazine March 2013)

The Bank Windhoek group of companies has been supporting entrepreneurial development among children of school going age through the Bank Windhoek BizzKids competition. Last year, the winners were Keanu da Silva (13) and Keyat da Silva (11) trading as “Team D” from Eldorado Secondary School and M H Greeff Primary School. The business product they created was the “My Do and Get Book”. In basic terms, the two brothers sold work plans for children to do household chores to teach them to be responsible and at the same time earn pocket money for household chores done.
Wikipedia explains “pocket money” as follows: An allowance is an amount of money given or allotted usually at regular intervals for a specific purpose. In the context of children, parents may provide an allowance (British English: pocket money) to their child for their miscellaneous personal spending.
The person providing the allowance is usually trying to control how or when money is spent by the recipient so that it meets the aims of the person providing the money. For example an allowance by a parent might be motivated to teach the child money management and may be unconditional or be tied to completion of chores or achievement of specific grades

As a consumer activist the business idea of the brothers really caught my attention. First, it explains the importance of children being given the responsibility of doing things around the house as part of their contribution. Secondly, it adds the element of understanding the value of these chores in terms of earnings. These earnings (points based system) are converted into an agreed amount in Namibian dollars that the child can receive at the end of every month as their allowance. Thirdly, it leaves a long lasting experience for the child to prepare them for the “real” world where nothing in life is free.

The book is a daily reminder (when used correctly) about what is responsibility while reminding the child of the rewards due for the work done. This moral lesson is reinforced by the weekly checking of both chores and points awarded. At the end of the book, it also allows for a balancing to be done of both parties contribution to the work programme outlined in advance.

The business idea has now been formalized and the duo, together with their parents is shopping around to find a corporate sponsor. I hope that corporate sponsors are open to this idea, and link it to other products to also include saving and banking of these allowances.

Milton Louw is a Namibian consumer activist and is not affiliated to the business “My Do and Get Book” in any way or form.

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