Part 3: Inspiring Children to Help Others through Entrepreneurship

By,  Dr. Annie Whitlock

KrocCenter-Summer13 (21)(1)

This One Hen student’s business advertisement also raises awareness about the problem of child abuse.


Whose pain do you feel? How could we help? I asked the Mega Minds these questions to begin the process of choosing a cause they are most interested in supporting with their business profits. However, asking fifth graders to answer these questions isn’t as easy as one would think. As Kim said, her students’ worlds were “this big” as she held her fingers close together. I knew I had to supplement the One Hen Academy curriculum with some other material to help the Mega Minds think about needs in their community and world.


Continue reading Part 3: Inspiring Children to Help Others through Entrepreneurship

Money: A Source of Tension or Path to Empowerment?

By, Hillary K. Pember

Allison's SCORES girls - Umana7 Allison's SCORES girls - Umana
One Hen students at the Mario Umana Academy in East Boston Allison Martinzen, Gear Up counselor and One Hen coach


Growing up, Allison Martizen was no stranger to heated family discussions on finances. Fortunately, as an adult, those family arguments fueled Allison’s desire to help young people become productive, finically literate citizens who see money as a means to success, charity and empowerment, rather than conflict.


“It is important for kids to have confidence in their financial knowledge. To feel secure with money is very empowering, especially for young women,” said Martizen.


As a counselor for the GEAR UP program, Martizen helps students at the Mario Umana Academy in East Boston reach their goal of attending college. Financial literacy training is a key component of the program.


Last year, Martizen also started volunteering as a coach for Dollar$ for Change, an afterschool soccer and enrichment program offered through America SCORES, in partnership with and One Hen, Inc. Continue reading Money: A Source of Tension or Path to Empowerment?

Business for Good

By,  One Hen entrepreneurs, Anissa Patel (9) and Esme Venton (9)


Business for good, sustainability and fair trade should be principles that guide our every day decisions. We started Laughing Man Coffee because we believe in the power of business for good.


When we teach our children about using business for good, and when these principles become part of our mindsets and ingrained in the way that we do business, then we have really accomplished something. We believe that youth can make a huge difference in their communities and around the world, especially when they work together. We want to inspire the next generation. We hope you are inspired by this story and will join us.


Anissa Patel and Esme Venton, two nine year old girls from Massachusetts, teamed up with nine of their friends this spring to start a small business and use their profits to raise money for causes that they care about. In just one month they raised an astounding $3,300 for charity.


Here’s what the girls had to say about their experience:


Continue reading Business for Good

Part 2: Elementary Entrepreneurs Receive their First Loan

By,  Dr. Annie Whitlock



You could hear a pin drop in Kim’s fifth-grade classroom as her students signed their names in careful cursive onto their loan repayment contracts. They were getting ready to borrow $10 for each table group to start a small business and had just calculated that they would need to pay back this loan with 10% interest ($11 total). Their silence reflected awareness of the responsibility of taking out a loan as well as their apprehension about repayment.


Kim’s class began the One Hen Academy curriculum with an introduction to microfinance by reading One Hen: How one small loan made a big difference by Katie Smith-Milway. In this book, the main character, Kojo, uses a small loan to purchase a hen and then sells the eggs his hen lays and uses that money to buy more hens. Slowly, over many years, Kojo uses his hens and a bank loan to build a prosperous chicken farm. In addition to providing eggs to his community, Kojo also provides employment opportunities and loans money to villagers who wanted to start their own businesses.


Continue reading Part 2: Elementary Entrepreneurs Receive their First Loan