By Murniati Tamanni @ Mu Kim Ni
During his time, Muhammad SAW spent more time in business, about 25 years after he received the first revelation (wahy) from Allah, than of preaching Islam – or about 23 years of his prophetic time. His father died before he was born, and Muhammad was put under the care of his grandfather, head of the prestigious Hashim clan. His mother died when he was six, and his grandfather when he was eight, leaving him under the care of his uncle Abu Talib, the new head of the clan.
That condition forced little Muhammad to survive and learned how to earn a living. He assisted his uncle to trade from one town to another within and outside Arabian Penisula. He used to travel north ways to Syria and Palestine or to the south, all the way to Yemen. He was doing this until he met a wealthy widow Siti Khadijah and worked for her as a merchant.
I believe that the above living example carries a message and teaches us how to be a right practising Muslim. It implies a call to always wake up in the morning and spread all over places to seek rizq that Allah has promised. In Surah al-Jumu’ah, Verse 10, Allah commands;
And when the Prayer is finished, then may ye disperse through the land, and seek of the Bounty of Allah. and celebrate the Praises of Allah often (and without stint): that ye may prosper.
Despite this call, many of us have an anxiety about starting a business; what business to do, how to start and even how to overcome introversion when negotiating with other people in business. Too late at our current age? I don’t think so. If not for yourself, you can always teach your kids to learn early.
This article is trying to convince you how important inculcating entrepreneurship skill at tender age of childhood. It can become a hobby one day or can be an alternative pastime during financial crisis like this, where many companies streamed down their employees and turned many into joblessness.
Perhaps, in a better condition, this practice can provide side income to the family. Furthermore this is to teach our children how to respect their parents who work for paying their education and make sure the family live comfortably.
Children these days seem to be smarter in the sense that they are having more knowledge than previous generations. They are simply exposed to more things at a younger age and thus absorb seemingly more of the current world than children in previous generations might have (http://sevencastles.spaces.live.com).
Feeding them early entrepreneurship education is not a harmful thing, so every parent is not necessary to be worried about. It is very simple thing to start, minimum condition for this exercise is when the kids reach age of 7 or after they know how to read and count. The following steps may be helpful:
- Start with cheap and simple things. Buy some stationery at Jalan Asemka, Jakarta or Pasar Grosir where many cheaper merchandise are sold for retailers, such as school stationery like pencils, erasers, rulers, writing books. Story books can be a good option too, those published by Syaamil Kid, GIP or other Islamic publications are available at Walisongo, Gramedia, Gunung Agung or other book store. You may need basic working capital of Rp. 50.000,- Rp. 100.000,-
- Buy PO, Invoice, DO and Cash Book for documentations, available at any bookstore.
- Attach the merchandise with price labels and teach the kids the margin we set for each, say 20%.
- Teach them how to offer their friends, just like the traders they meet in traditional market. They may not find such at Shopping Malls.
- Tell them everything must be cash, credit sales may confuse them.
- Tell them to record everything, right from stock, expenses and their friend customers.
- If some or all are sold, count how much margin they have collected, return the money that parents have invested and put all profits in their piggy bank or in the saving book if they have.
- Teach them how to donate some profits they have for the needy such as orphan.
- Appreciate and encourage them to enjoy this exercise. Give applause, big hugs, words of encouragement, Certificate of Success and try new business, change from stationeries to fish, binders, hair accessories, Yo-Yo or Mommy’s handmade cookies.
Have a try and share with us your experience. Salams.