Digital content strategy firm Southern Swallow of Little Rock recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $18,000 for its new four-book Entrepreneur Kid series that aims to inspire K-12 student to launch their own businesses.
On colorfully illustrated pages, the series tells the stories of the following young people:
- Sebastian Martinez, an 8-year-old from Florida who designs and sells wacky socks through a company called Are You Kidding;
- Gabby Goodwin, a 9-year-old from South Carolina who invented and sells GaBBY Bows hair accessories;
- Jason Li, who as a high school sophomore in Los Gatos, California, launched ReTron to buy, refurbish and resell or recycled used electronics; and
- Rachel Zietz, who at 13 founded lacrosse equipment company Gladiator Lacrosse in Boca Raton, Florida.
Erica Swallow, founder and CEO of Southern Swallow, said her team began working on the series in September and plans to eventually publish stories about other K-12 entrepreneurs on a website.
Most of the money raised via Kickstarter will go toward printing costs, but 20 percent will benefit the featured kids. Each will receive 5 percent.
Another 10 percent will go toward a fund that will be used to help other entrepreneurial kids or to distribute the books free of charge to selected schools. Swallow said she hasn’t determined the criteria or specific uses of that 10 percent yet.
The Kickstarter campaign ends at 6:01 a.m. on April 28.
Swallow’s fiance, Dan Ndombe, and illustrator Li Zeng are also involved in the books. Ndombe is lead software engineer at Access Control Devices Inc. of Little Rock, and Zeng is an assistant professor who teaches graphic design at the University of Central Arkansas.
Swallow said Entrepreneur Kids is a “social enterprise,” and she has worked with the Venture Center of Little Rock and the Innovation Hub of North Little Rock to get the word out.
The startup is seeking sponsorships from corporations and chambers of commerce, and the Confucius Institute at UCA is paying to print the books in Chinese.