A group of children from Cape Town have formed a company and launched a product that is intended to help other children increase their vocabulary.
The group – ranging between 7 and 13 years of age – have called the company Better & Brighter, with their mission being to help school-going children create a better and brighter future for themselves.
To achieve this, they have developed a product that enables children to know and use a wider range of words so that they are able to understand more complex and challenging subjects, concepts and ideas.
The product is a pack of word cards. Each card features a word, its definition and two examples of how it can be used in every day conversations. The idea is that the child learns and uses one new word a day, which means that their language skills are quickly boosted, helping them to understand more of the world they engage with.
Research has shown that the better your vocabulary, the better you do at school, and that a person’s vocabulary is the best single predictor of work success.
Other benefits include:
- Improved reading, comprehension and spelling
- Improved communication that includes writing and verbal expression.
- Understanding and explaining more advanced and complex concepts
- Deeper thinking and mental processing.
- More curiosity and interest in a broader spectrum of life.
“Better & Brighter is a way to elucidate words that will unlock all of life’s possibilities and opportunities for South African children,” quipped Isla Stewart, one of the founders of the company.
“Our mission is to help kids develop their lexicon, to have superior comprehension, to be able to access new knowledge and to have a greater understanding of the zeitgeist. This will have exponential and compounding benefits for generations to come.
“It’s the key to our country’s future and a prerequisite for a better and brighter future for all,” she said, rather cheekily using several of the words contained in the first word pack.
And what does a parent have to say about the benefit of using the word cards?
“Ilse and her brother Sam love playing the game – although it does take some effort to make it a fun daily ritual. At first, it was our role as parents to drive the ritual, but as the children really enjoy knowing words others don’t, they soon started driving the activity themselves,” said their father, Jason Stewart.
Stewart and the team (which comprises Sam and her friends, Didi Dodo, Sakho Liwani, Lola Oldroyd, Clara Minnaar, Mia Ballantyne, Asteria Suzman and Sophie Hugo) formed their company with the help of Stewart’s father, a seasoned entrepreneur and co-founder of the HaveYouHeard group of companies in Cape Town.
“We wanted the children to know how easy it is to bring an idea to life properly, so together we have registered the company, opened FNB bank and Snapscan accounts and even have the packs listed on Takealot,” he said.
The nine shareholders earned their shares by the number of word cards they created, teaching them how effort equals equity. They came up with the name and designed the logo themselves … in just 20 minutes!
Management meetings are held every month to discuss the financial state of the company, stock levels, sales and what sales efforts are generating the best results, and any problems they may be encountering which they can positively problem solve in the meeting. If there are any disagreements on how the business needs to be run or grown, decisions are made by calling a vote of the shareholders.
“The product took about two months to create and the team has now started selling packs, learning how to pitch and persuade while managing money, costs and commissions,” said Stewart senior.
“Their goal is to sell 5 000 packs. To date, they’ve sold about 200, so the next lesson for these kids to learn is about sustained effort and how to scale.
“It’s also important to note that no adults currently benefit or will ever benefit from this company – it’s all about the children learning, growing and earning,” he said.
According to the shareholders, the company is looking for more sales agents – other entrepreneurial children who want to have more financial control of their lives while developing other skills such as goal setting, discipline, confidence, social interactions, finance, etc. Expressions of interest can be sent to [email protected]
Each shareholder has decided to donate 10% of their earnings to the Stepping Stones school bursary fund, invest 70% for future growth and spend just 20% any way they want – much to their uncontained excitement.
One of the shareholders, however, Didi Dodo, is adamant to invest in her future. She is committing the full 90% of her profits to paying her own way into a private school in 2023, with Stepping Stones Montessori School at the top of her list.
Further, together with the company’s printing partner, Jetline Print in Greenpoint, the team is in the process of donating 450 packs to under-resourced schools.
You can purchase packs direct on Takealot using the following link: https://www.takealot.com/vocabulary-word-pack-edition-1/PLID91515418
Here is a brief video of the shareholders introducing Better and Brighter: https://youtu.be/Gvf63Z02IDY