Frequently Asked Questions
What is the “Grow Your Own Business Challenge”?
The “Grow Your Own Business Challenge” is a contest that encourages kids to come up with their own business ideas.
What is By Kids For Kids?
By Kids For Kids Co. is the official administrator of Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club “Grow Your Own Business Challenge.” BKFK creates educational materials and challenges designed to encourage kids to invent and innovate. Learn more about By Kids For Kids at www.bkfk.com.
How can I sign up for an account?
Please go to www.smckids.com/learnandearn and register for a Young Entrepreneur account if you are a kid. Parents, Teachers, and Volunteers can sign up for their respective accounts as well. You need to sign up for an account to enter the competition online.
What is a Young Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is someone who initiates and manages a business, and we are looking for budding young entrepreneurs who are have ideas for new businesses. If you are a kid between 7 and 14 and have a business idea, sign up for a Young Entrepreneur account and get started!
Can my parent sign me up?
Absolutely! Parents—just go www.SMCKids.com/LearnAndEarn and register for an account.
Can my parents view the Official Rules of the competition?
Absolutely. Visit www.SMCKids.com/LearnAndEarn and click on “Contest” to find a link to the rules. Parents, please read all official rules before entering your child’s business idea!
Can my parents help me with my entry?
Your business idea submission must be your own original work, but your parents and teachers certainly may help you with the expression of your idea.
What is the easiest way to enter?
The easiest way to enter the “Grow Your Own Business Challenge” is online. Just go to www.SMCKids.com/LearnAndEarn, sign up for an account, and follow instructions on the website. There are special sections for kids, parents, volunteers and teachers, so it’s really easy for everyone.
Where can I get an entry form and official rules?
This contest is subject to the official rules. To obtain the official rules, please visit www.SMCKids.com/LearnAndEarn and click on “Contest” to find a link to the rules. If entering via mail, you may download a print form of the rules.
Will my information stay confidential?
Is there a fee to enter? Do I need to buy anything?
No fee is required to enter the contest, and no purchase of any kind will improve your chances of winning.
Who owns my idea?
Entrants own all rights to their ideas. If selected to be a Semifinalist, Finalist, and/or Grand Prize Winner, provided there are no IP issues, ownership of the business idea shall remain with the entrant.
Will my entry materials be returned after the contest?
No entry materials will be returned. We recommend you make a copy of all entry materials for your records.
HOW THE CONTEST WORKS
What business ideas will you be considering in the “Grow Your Own Business Challenge”?
Every eligible entry we receive will be carefully reviewed and considered.
We’re looking for business ideas for:
You may propose an online business, a brick and mortar business, or a combination of both.
Who can enter the contest?
The “Grow Your Own Business Challenge” is offered only to individuals who are legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia, and who are at least 7 years old and not older than 14 at the time of entry.
Employees, officers, directors, and advisors of The By Kids For Kids, Company (“BKFK” or “Administrator”), The Fairholme Foundation (“Sponsor”), and A Squared Entertainment LLC (“Creator”), and their respective parents, affiliated and subsidiary companies, advertising and promotion agencies, Competition judges, webmasters and web suppliers, and persons engaged in the development of the Competition & Competition materials, and members of the immediate family (parents, siblings, children [natural, adopted, foster] and spouse, wherever they reside) or household members (whether or not related) of such employees, officers, directors, advisors are not eligible.
Do I need to enter the contest by a certain date?
Yes! All online entries must be received by 11:59 PM EST on 01/31/15. All mailed entries must be sent in a separate addressed, stamped envelope, postmarked by 01/31/15. We cannot consider any entries that are postmarked after that date. No exceptions will be made.
Can I enter more than once?
Yes, in fact, many great entrepreneurs have many great ideas! You may enter as often as you like as long as each invention idea is unique and includes all information requested. If submitting more than one entry, you must complete one entry form for each submission (if entering by mail), or simply create as many entries as you like within just one easy online workspace. If mailing your entry(s), every entry must be submitted separately and in its own envelope.
How do I enter the contest online?
Entering is easy!
- Create a Young Entrepreneur account or login.
- In your account, click on "Individual Entry."
- If you are entering as a team, click on "Team Entry" and create a team.
- Answer all questions. If you’d like, upload supporting documents.
- Read the rules of the competition. Then, submit your entry!
Your entry must:
- include completed answers to all questions, and;
- be for a new, original idea.
How can I enter as a team?
BKFK accepts entries from teams of two to four members, as well as from individuals. For team submissions, each member should sign up for his/her own account. The Team Leader can then create a team and add the members to the team through his/her account. Only the team leader is able to start, edit, and submit a team entry. All team members will be able to review the entry from their accounts.
How do I submit my entry by mail?
Each page of your entry that is submitted (maximum of two (2) 8 ½” x 11” sheets of paper for each idea description) must be:
- legible, and
- include your signature and complete contact information, including email address (if you have one), daytime phone number, and age on all pages.
Entries must be:
- typed or neatly printed;
- in 10 pt. font or larger;
- in English.
Submit your completed entry submission to:
1177 High Ridge Road
Stamford, CT 06905.
Do I have to complete my online submission all at once?
No. One of the reasons entering online is so easy is that you may store your entry materials in your own secure account, then come back as many times as you like and modify/add to your submission. Once you hit the submit button, however, your idea is locked. No edits, additions, or changes will be permitted, and your idea goes directly to the evaluation phase.
If I enter online, what if I forget my username and/or password?
You can retrieve both your username and password by hitting “Forget your password?” and following the instructions there.
What if I don’t have an email address?
If your family has an email address, you can use that one. Your email address can be the same as your parent’s or guardian’s email address. Or you can enter via regular mail.
Will I be notified that my mailed entry has been received?
Due to the anticipated volume of entries, we cannot acknowledge the receipt or status of any entry. If you want to be sure your mailed entry was received, please send it by registered or certified mail.
Will I be notified that my online entry has been received?
If you submit your entry online, you WILL receive a confirmation message via email, saying “We have received your entry.” Your entry will be electronically time-stamped and recorded by the contest administrator’s computer—verifying receipt.
JUDGING AND PRIZES
Who are the judges of the “Grow Your Own Business Challenge”?
All judging will be conducted by a panel of Sponsor executives and a national judging committee of industry experts. Evaluators do not profit in any way from the success of the winners. All judges sign a written confidentiality agreement before viewing any submissions.
Will the judges know whose entries they are evaluating?
No. All evaluations are on an anonymous basis until the Semifinalist round, in which selected nominees may be asked to submit a video explaining their entry; the video will be used in the Semifinalist round of judging. If a video is requested, it will be requested from all of the Semifinalists and complete guidelines for the contents of the video will be communicated to each Semifinalist. Judges will not have access to any of the entrants' personal information.
What are my odds of winning?
Odds are not relevant in a contest of skill. Entries are judged based on merit, not through a random drawing.
What criteria will be used to judge ideas?
Your idea will be evaluated using the following criteria. (The number in parentheses indicates the weight given to each criterion in determining total score.):
- Uniqueness of concept (40%)
- Depth and description of concept (30%)
- Feasibility of execution of concept (30%)
What happens to ideas that don’t get chosen? How do I know they’re safe?
Entries and all information about the entries that are not selected to be Semifinalists will not be disclosed.
What prizes can I win?
- Grand Prize: One Individual winner will receive $5,000 plus a 3-day/2-night trip for two to the Grand Prize Event. Each Member of the Winning Team will receive $5,000 plus a 3-day/2-night trip for two to the Grand Prize Event.
- Finalist Prizes (to be awarded to four Individuals and two Teams): $500 to each Individual and Members of the Teams, plus a 3-day/2-night trip for two to the Grand Prize Event.
- Semifinalist Prizes (10 individuals and five Teams): $250 to each Individual and Members of the Teams.
Teacher Awards: Each of the Individual and Team Winners and Finalists will have the opportunity to nominate their most inspirational Teacher/Mentor for a Teacher/Mentor Award. Nominated Teachers/Mentors will receive a 2-day/1-night trip to the Grand Prize Event. Teachers/Mentors nominated by the Grand Prize Winner and the winning Team will receive $1,000. Teachers/Mentors nominated by the Finalists will receive $250 each.
Will I have to pay taxes on my prize if I win?
Taxes, if any, related to the prize(s) are the responsibility of the winner and his/her parent/legal guardian.
Can adults help their students/kids enter?
Absolutely! All business idea submissions must be the child’s own original work, but adults certainly may help kids with the expression of their ideas.
What can adults do to sign up their class and kids?
Teachers, Parents, and Volunteers can go to www.SMCKids.com/LearnAndEarn, where they can:
- Create a Teacher, Parent, or Volunteer account.
- Create user accounts for their child(ren) or student(s).
- Create a team account for a group interested in submitting a group entry.
Teachers can then ask kids to log in with the teacher-created usernames to submit an entry.
What resources are there for adults to help kids get started?
Adult mentors can go to www.SMCKids.com/LearnAndEarn, where they will find activities and online webisodes of Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club to help get their students started.
Is there any prizing for adults?
Of course! We strongly support teachers and the work they do every day. Each of the Individual and Team winners and finalists will have the opportunity to nominate their most inspirational Teacher/Mentor for a Teacher/Mentor Award. Nominated Teachers/Mentors will receive a 2-day/1-night trip to the Grand Prize Event. Teachers/Mentors nominated by the Grand Prize winner and the winning team will receive $1,000 each. Teachers/Mentors nominated by the finalists will receive $250 each.
I’m a teacher. Is it easy to get my class involved?
Absolutely! Entrepreneurship is interdisciplinary and can be approached and practiced with any age group. This program works in any classroom, and can involve science, social studies, English, math, technology, and pre-engineering. The designing even involves art, so not only are many key subjects involved and used, but also, your students will learn about how the subjects connect and complement each other during the creation of a new business idea.
Why should teachers get involved?
Teachers know the educational benefits of innovative thinking. Problem solving, brainstorming, working independently and researching have been identified as 21st century skills that are needed for the workforce of tomorrow. Innovation emphasizes creative and critical-thinking skills that kids need to be successful in our quickly changing global economy—and encouraging innovation in children is recommended by the National Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in America.