Starting a Financial Education Program for Kids

Interview with Katerina Taylor, President and Founder of Smart Kidz Money Matters

After seeing patterns of bad money management pass down through generations in her years as a banker, Katerina Taylor decided to use her experience to teach children and teens about responsible spending and saving. Check out her advice on starting a business educating children.

Interview with Katerina Taylor, Founder of Smart Kidz Money Matters.

Tell me about Smart Kidz Money Matters. What is it?

Smart Kidz promotes financial and economic literacy among students ages 10-21. We facilitate financial literacy training in schools and student-focused organizations.

How did you come up with your business idea?

In my many years in the banking industry and as a financial educator, I have witnessed a vicious cycle of negative personal money management behaviors, as well as a general lack of knowledge of banking. These behaviors and lack of knowledge are being inherited by many more generations after. After 8 years of teaching and promoting financial literacy to students, I started my own business in January 2009.

Did you write a business plan? Was it an effective tool for you?

I did, and it was very effective in helping me become knowledgeable about my business finances and how to understand my business trends. I understand profit and loss statements, and the need to have positive cash flow, and I understand the creation and need of a business Pro Forma.

What kind of professionals hire to help you? Would you suggest others do the same?

I hired an affordable but knowledgeable tax consultant and I would insist that a new business owner seek some form of tax consultation. In addition, I got great help from an SBA certified women's business center.

What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?

Seeking strategic and reciprocal relationships to increase my search engine optimization, build brand recognition, generate profitable referrals, and connecting with other entrepreneurs that can share their experiences has proven successful.

What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?

Research is key, and networking events are golden. Don't wait until everything is perfect; just get it done and generate some profit.

Thank you for talking to us today, Katerina. Hopefully your advice will help future entrepreneurs make sound decisions as much as your company helps kids make them.

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We greatly appreciate any advice you can provide on this topic. Please contribute your insights on this topic so others can benefit.

  • Melissa posted on 4/12/2010
    I think that is a great program to have available to kids all the way up to age 21. Any help dealing with handling of money at a young age is a great idea and will help in the future. Great information on how she went about getting this started!! I wish her luck
  • Thomas E Jones posted on 4/12/2010
    Thomas E Jones
    Great article...I will definitely use the information to help me in my endeavors to open my business.
  • Jana Rogers posted on 4/13/2010
    Jana Rogers
    The program content is innovative, relevant to today financial climate and details very resourceful approaches to starting the business. This information will surely prove beneficial to other entrepreneurs and children, outstanding!
  • Tamara Clarke posted on 12/30/2010
    Tamara Clarke
    This was a great article. I am glad to see that Katerina is continuing with financial literacy outreach. Her work with the ninth graders at Osborne High School in Marietta, Georgia was extremely helpful.

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