By Lea Pachta
The new series of BBC's looking for a ‘Junior Apprentice' hit our screens last week, and provides further inspiration to an already inspired age-group, according to research conducted by Santander Current Accounts.
Research from Santander reveals that three quarters of a million (773,000) 10 to 15 year olds - around 18 per cent of kids in that age group - have effectively ‘set themselves up in business' and are collectively generating annual profits of just under half a billion pounds.
Dubbed the ‘Sugar Babies', after ubiquitous entrepreneur Lord Alan Sugar, enterprising youngsters are not only pursuing 21st century ventures such as designing iPhone applications and websites, but also traditional chores and jobs such as gardening, cleaning windows and baby sitting to boost their incomes. Individually they're earning an average of just over £46 a month or £550 a year - a collective sum totalling £426 million a year.
The money-making activities children are performing outside the home include walking pets (13 per cent) and helping neighbours with their car washing or gardening (9 per cent). One in ten (9 per cent) do a paper round and 8 per cent earn cash from babysitting.
Parents have also been quick to take advantage of their kids' entrepreneurial spirit with 40% of children being made to carry out household chores to earn their pocket money. One in five (22 per cent) are given pocket money by their parents but supplement it by taking on additional work around the house to fill their piggy banks.
Helen Bierton, Head of Santander Current Accounts commented: "It is fantastic to see so many young people keen to start earning from an early age. The money generated is obviously great but the lessons learned should prove invaluable when it comes to managing finances later in life.
"It's also good to see so many parents encouraging their children to have some financial independence. The sooner they appreciate the value of money and how to earn it the better placed they'll be when they hit the jobs market for real."
British parents can take some credit for the entrepreneurial drive with two thirds (66 per cent) pushing their budding Richard Bransons into commercial activity. One in ten of these parents has been prompted to do so by the recession emphasising the value of financial stability.
While more than one in four (26 per cent) parents encourage their children to be entrepreneurial to benefit the child in the long term, a self interested 2 per cent of parents encourage entrepreneurial spirit to make sure their kids can support them financially when they are older. 19% of parents see encouraging their children's commercial activity as a means to improving their skills and knowledge in a business environment.
Helen Bierton, continued: "While parents should be applauded for trying to get their children to have some financial independence and make the most of their money, this may be a typical case of parents urging their children to ‘do as I say, not as I do', as the vast majority of adults (70 per cent) are not looking to review their finances this year.
"By showing some entrepreneurial spirit themselves, parents can earn up to £125 a year in interest, simply by switching their current account to a high interest account with Santander or Alliance & Leicester. That is a great way of leading by example, and if 11 to 18 year olds follow their parents to Santander, they will earn up to 5 per cent interest on balances up to £500."