Many adults dream of owning their own business. It's a dream that's come true for Mikey Wren. The Jennings entrepreneur is taking the business world by storm. But as Five On Your Side's Ray Strickland explains, Wren is not your average businessman. In fact, he's still in elementary school.
He's a business owner, an inspirational speaker and a best-selling author. Yet, he's only ten years old. Mikey Wren said he's proof that little people can do big things.
What started out as a crazy idea, quickly became a reality for Mikey Wren and his parents.
"For him, to first come to us with the idea that he wanted a vending machine, I was like uh okay we will see where this go,” his step-father James Biggs said. “He is interested in one thing then the next week it's something else."
Mikey said the reason he wanted to start a business was because, “I wanted to eat all the snacks out of the vending machine," he said.
Like most kids, Mikey had a sweet tooth. But unlike most kids, he used his love for candy and snacks to start a business...”Mikey's Munchies”.
"I want to be a leader and I want to be a role model," Mikey said.
It didn't happen overnight. Mikey had to create a business plan and come up with the money to get the business going. He did it by setting up a lemonade stand.
"They end up raising 1200 dollars," James said.
He even gave up getting gifts on the biggest holiday of the year.
"He was okay with not getting anything for Christmas, so we gave him the rest of the money for Christmas," Mikey’s mother Arriel Biggs said.
Mikey’s mother, Arriel, said Mikey does majority of the work.
“Mikey, you need a business plan. You need to do research [and] where are you going to place the machines? she said. “I started going through the process with him and he came back with everything I told him to do and he had an understanding of it…He even made his own flyers. He typed up his business plan.”
Mikey now owns four vending machines. Two in Creve Coeur and two in North County. Andy Hayes, president of American Vending Machines, has been his mentor for the past couple of years. He said Mikey has a bright future in business.
"So many good, intuitive questions about the vending business, from product cost and everything,” he said. “I don't get grown men asking me that."
Mikey is also a best-selling author. “Mikey Learns About Business” shares the 10-year old's business savvy with other kids.
"I want to be that role model that's going to help them succeed in life," Mikey said.
Mikey is a member of Young Biz Kidz. It's a non-profit organization that encourages youth entrepreneurship. He's one of 32 kids who owns their own business.