Entrepreneurs Around the World Have Started and Grown their Business

Entrepreneur: Craig Kielburger, 12
Business: Free the Children
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Free The Children's mission is to create a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change. The organization was founded by Craig Kielburger in 1995 when he gathered 11 school friends to begin fighting child labour. At the time, he was just 12 years old. This is his story:

One morning, Craig flipped through a newspaper in search of the comics and came across an article about a courageous boy named Iqbal. Iqbal Masih was born in South Asia and sold into slavery at the age of four. In his short life, he had spent six years chained to a carpet-weaving loom. Iqbal captured the world's attention by speaking out for children's rights. Eventually, Iqbal's wide media coverage caught the attention of those who wished to silence him. At 12, Iqbal lost his life defending the rights of children.

What Craig learned from Iqbal's story was that the bravest voice can live in the smallest body. This inspired Craig to do something to help other children like Iqbal. He gathered together a small group of his seventh-grade classmates and started an organization called Free The Children.

Free the children from poverty.
Free the children from exploitation.
Free the children from the notion that they are powerless to effect change.

Those are the messages that sparked Craig's passion, and continue to fuel the mission of the organization today. Every day, the movement grows and every day more young people are free to achieve their fullest potential.

Today, Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner, with more than 2.3 million youth involved in our innovative education and development programs. Since its inception, Free The Children has worked in more than 45 countries.

Do you want to raise money like Craig did to help kids in need? If so, join One Hen's Pledge Your Profit Challenge to smart a small business and donate your profits to the cause you care most about.