In the past few weeks I developed an, in my humble opinion, exciting new concept. I called it: YOU buy - WE donate - YOU save! Basically it means: a customer buys a tea from us and selects from a predetermined set of organizations/charities with a maximum of two of them; we, the Tea Campaign Canada, make a donation to the selected organizations/charities; at the same time the customer gets a discount on his purchased tea. OK, sounds strange, I know. For that step by step...
There were two facts that led to the development of this concept. Firstly: in my opinion (and not only in mine) there is not enough done to teach young people the skills to become an entrepreneur; therefor it is important to support organizations engaged in teaching kids and teenagers those skills. Secondly: high quality TV-content, produced by smaller TV-stations, is in my eyes something that has to be kept in a media landscape that is marked by a flood of trendy, "easy going" over-information.
But why should young people, ideally starting in Kindergarten, learn those skills, and why is high quality TV-content important? The answer to the first question is a quite simple one: we need more entrepreneurs! Not only here in Canada, but around the globe. The reasons for this need are numerous and diverse, from lay-offs in traditional production segments to the increase in world population (with an inevitably increasing number of people looking for jobs/work and an increasing global competition in all market-sectors).
But who creates jobs? Right: entrepreneurs! And how do you get an entrepreneur? Well, most people become entrepreneurs because they either grow up in an entrepreneur-family (including farmers and corner-stores), because they were laid off at an age that makes one a "senior" instead of an experienced, skilled person, or they can not find a job or, or, or... or on the other end of a diverse spectrum of reasons they are so called "born" entrepreneurs.
If you are not "born" as an entrepreneur or you don´t follow in your father´s footsteps: how do you get the skills that can make you a successful businessman or -women? Unfortunately, in most of the cases, by a long chain of trial and error! This is the most common strategy, but it´s not a good one as you waste a lot of time, money and energy. It would be much better and easier to learn all the basics of entrepreneurship (and to develop kind of an entrepreneur-personality) at an age when it is fun e.g. to pick lilies of the valley with other kids in the forest and to sell them to people in your village (as I did at age 9) instead of having financial pressure on your back as an adult because you underestimated how difficult it is to sell furniture or apple juice via the internet.
From those organizations going to kindergartens, elementary schools, colleges, high schools and universities to teach everything that makes an entrepreneur, from developing ideas and products to marketing and accounting, we selected two who we believe match perfectly with our ideas: Junior Achievement and The Learning Partnership. Both operate across Canada and can look back on many years of experience.
The answer to the second question ("Why is high quality TV-content important") is quickly given. All Media, especially TV, are constantly under the pressure of the "quote". Does a program or a series not have enough viewers? Bad luck: cancelled! So, what can be done? Correct: one has to be trendy and deliver content that´s easy to digest by as many people as possible - like a beer or coffee of a big brand that is on one hand cheap enough to attract many consumers and on the other hand tasteful enough so that nobody will be hurt. The same with TV-content: "avoid the heavy stuff", "don´t go to deep" seems to be the Credo of the time (what is in my opinion a under dramatic underestimation of the viewers). For that there was no hesitation for us to support TVO, a TV-station in Ontario that produces high quality-content for adults and children.
Continuation: see Part 2