Two girls made a $3000 profit after organising their school formal. Is that problematic?

Judging by the number of people who describe themselves as “entrepreneurs” on social media, we are living in the age of the self-starter, where any means of income is possible, at any age – as long as you’ve been smart enough to corner the market.

And that’s what two young high school girls have done, according to a listener, Jackie, who called into Mamamia’s parenting podcast, This Glorious Mess.

Jackie described how her daughter had recently attended her Year 10 school formal, which wasn’t organised by the school, but by two classmates (and supported by their mothers). The girls co-ordinated tickets sales. Booked the venue. Sorted a D.J. Secured a photobooth.

And made a tidy$3000 profit. Each.

The listener asked if podcast hosts Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo thought the approach of inflating costs with the direct intention of making a profit from their classmates was ingenious…or problematic?

“Am I wrong to feel this is price-gouging their friends?”, Jackie asked.

Is it ever ok to make money from your friends? This Glorious Mess discuss.

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Holly’s response was firmly in the negative.

“I have never heard of this, and I am floored,” she said. Querying whether their initiative will be applauded in our entrepreneurial culture, she added that she sincerely hoped not.

“You should not be trying to make a buck out of your fellow students in Year 10.”

Andrew pointed out that people seemed to be happy to pay for the price the tickets were set at.

“Everyone had a nice time. Good luck to them,” he said. But, he also added, “No one will talk to them after they discover they made money. It will be an absolute disaster.”

Holly agreed, and observed that realistically, the ticket money came from the parents, not the students; which was problematic.

“Isn’t there enough parents have to spend money on for a fifteen year old girl? You’ve also got to buy the dress, and the shoes, and all the stuff.”

Holly was very clear as she said, “Parents just want to make a living and have a nice life. I don’t want to be lining the pockets of a future business leader.”

Andrew used the example of adults doing the same thing to each other, whilst noting, it’s different when you consent as adults to the plan.

Holly suggested that the experience of organising such an event could be thanks enough for the girls, as they would be able to cite it as a major project they completed, when job seeking.

Andrew’s concern for the girls socially when word gets out how much profit was made wasn’t shared by Holly.

“I don’t think the girls will care, because it’s not their money,” she said. “It will be the parents who will say, ‘You made more money this month than me, kiddo.’ ”

Andrew concluded the discussion by reassuring Jackie that this wasn’t standard teen behaviour.

“This is a new one.”

He added, “This doesn’t work within my moral fibre. It’s bad enough when you have to ask your friends to sponsor you for charity.”

Which of course, as the hosts pointed out, could have been what the clever teens did with their profits.

Have you heard of teens making money from their friends like this? Tell us in the comments!

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