From lemonade stands for literacy to bake sales that benefit local homeless shelters, we’ve all been touched by kid businesses with a charitable component – especially during COVID-19, when the world needed a smile.
Inspired by these businesses, Jessie Williams, owner of We Events, a local event planning company, founded Guppy Tank, a grant and mentorship program designed to support kid businesses that give back.
“Kids doing good in the world develops empathy and gives them a sense of purpose,” says Williams, whose 10-year-old daughter Charlotte is no stranger to organizing diaper drives and filling backpacks with school supplies for underprivileged kids. “Guppy Tank is an opportunity to reward these kids and take a bit of the burden off of their parents.”
As part of the Guppy Tank program, one kid entrepreneur a quarter will be selected to receive a $350 grant that can go towards supplies, marketing, or other areas that help their business grow. There is also benefit for mentorship from the Guppy Tank Network, a dream team of small business experts ranging from finance and real estate to social media and marketing.
“Our mentors have a slew of different areas of expertise and skill sets, and it is great for kids to have access to this database of people who want to help them,” says Williams. “Once a grant recipient is chosen, we pair them up with the mentors that cater to their needs.”
How Guppy Tank works
Kids 7-17 years old who are starting a new business or need help with their current business qualify to apply. These businesses must donate a portion of their proceeds to charitable organizations.
Starting September 7, young entrepreneurs can use this link to apply with a 1-minute video submission about their business and why a grant would be helpful to them. Submissions for the first grant program will close on December 20, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. CST.
WE EVENTS is no stranger to giving back. A core part of their business model incorporates support of local not-for-profit organizations into their events in a fun and easy way. In her three years of business, WE EVENTS has donated to more than 25 local charities.
Williams says she is strong believer that the creativity and compassion of our next generation will ultimately be what changes our world.
“We believe that kids can make a big difference in this world,” she says. “We want to help these emerging business leaders of tomorrow grow and reward them for giving back.”
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