Innovation That Matters

Kids take on the challenge of raising funds for their schools


iRummage is an online, year round rummage sale run by kids, that helps schools fundraise.

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In today’s workplace, employers are placing increasing value on soft skills like communication, initiative and taking responsibility as desirable characteristics in their employees. At Springwise, we’ve looked at several enterprises recently that aim to help young people develop these characteristics. Amongst them, this mentoring scheme is widening access to careers in the creative industry whilst simultaneously developing softer skills through mentoring. Now, 13 year old Belle Pan has developed iRummage, an online rummage sale of donated goods.

The idea was born when the founder’s school, Lakeside School in North Seattle, Washington was about to abandon its annual rummage sale fundraiser because of logistical hassles. The platform runs all year round and provides public schools with an opportunity to raise funds by selling donated goods online. Pan, who was 11 when she first began developing the idea, is an advocate for young entrepreneurship. She explains, “One of the goals that we have is to train 100,000 10-year-old CEOs.” The school campaign are run by kids. Infact, parent and school staff participation are minimal by design. Participating schools have a school CEO, CTO and CFO. C-level positions are filled by older students, fifth graders. Younger students, those in first or second grade, are involved as ‘iRummage Ambassadors’, responsible for community outreach, collecting donated items, and working in all aspects of sales.

With the potential to raise USD 100 million for Washington state schools, whilst offering countless children the opportunity to experience what it’s like working for a startup, could this model be applied across the world?


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