Learn About Entrepreneurship with Tuttle Twins
In Season 1 Episode 4 of Tuttle Twins, entitled “Of Business and Benjamins,” Ethan and Emily Tuttle learn what it truly means to be an entrepreneur. With the help of historical and contemporary friends, the twins open their very own corn dog stand. Though the process is simple starting out, they soon learn that there’s more to entrepreneurial endeavors than just a good idea.
Episode 4: “Of Business and Benjamins” Plot Summary
At the beginning of this episode, we find our favorite twins playing at the park. They begin to be peckish, longing for a snack when Grandma Gabby races in from the space-time continuum to whisk the kids, and Derek the raccoon, away to lunch.
The twins’ parents sit, watching television, when a loud shake interrupts the fun; it’s Grandma Gabby! Gabby, Derek, and the twins have roared in from a planet made entirely of garbage (Derek’s lunch destination of choice.) While the kids explain their antics to their parents, they notice that Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle are engrossed in a show in which entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and try to secure funding.
The twins are curious about the life of an entrepreneur, and their dad explains that entrepreneurs come up with services or products that help others. Mom shares the phrase, “The entrepreneur makes problems fewer.” They teach the twins that every product you encounter is the result of an entrepreneur’s hard work.
Amazed that someone can “start a business with a cool idea,” and that anyone in a free market can become an entrepreneur, Ethan and Emily fantasize about what it must be like to achieve entrepreneurial fame. They realize that they’ll need investors for their new business—but that, first, they need a really good idea.
To help the twins get their creative juices flowing, Grandma Gabby takes them back in time to meet her entrepreneurial “BF”—Benjamin Franklin. The twins ask Benjamin for help coming up with their big idea, and he takes the gang on a tour to see some of his most notable inventions, including the Franklin Stove and the swimming flipper. When Ethan asks how Franklin came up with a good idea every time, the Founding Father explains that isn’t not how it works at all. Franklin shows the gang around a gallery of his failed ideas, showing them that entrepreneurs simply need to come up with lots of ideas, good and bad.
Next, Gabby takes the kids to meet her friend, Annie Turnbo Malone, in St. Louis in 1922. She’s very successful— but she wasn’t always that way. Malone explains that she made and sold some of the first hair care products specially formulated for African American women. She provided jobs for more than 70,000 people around the world, opened an orphanage, and donated generously to charity. She even opened schools in 15 major cities and expanded internationally.
Her business’s building is impressive, complete with a factory, cosmetology school, and beauty partner; however, Malone clarifies that her business did not look like this from the start. The haircare entrepreneur explains that she began her business in her home, testing her products in the kitchen and selling them door-to-door. When Ethan groans that some people have “all the luck,” Malone’s assistant Suzu makes an important clarification: luck had nothing to do with Annie’s success. Rather, she worked hard and kept up with the competition that began to arise, and stayed ahead of the curve.
Determined to come up with an idea that solves a problem and helps others, the kids brainstorm all night. When Ethan’s stomach starts to rumble from their long day, the twins know what they can do: they pitch their parents and grandmother an idea to open the local park’s first snack shack. Their corn dog stand, Tuttle Dogs, would fix this problem and feed their peers.
The twins pool their money and garner financial support from an excited Grandma Gabby. Their parents help them secure supplies and build their own stand, and the stand starts to go like gangbusters.
Though the lines are long at Tuttle Dogs, poor reviews start to flow in. Trouble brews stronger when Karinne, who had snuck a Tuttle Dog from an unwitting Copernicus, opened her own stand selling improved corn dogs at a lower price. The crowds shift to this new snack shack, and the twins have lost all their business.
Beginning to resent the free market for the competition that plagued them, Ethan and Emily recall Annie Turnbo Malone’s advice: that competition just means they need to improve their offering. To further teach the kids that every product around them has been improved by healthy competition, Gabby brings her pal Queen Elizabeth to the present. Gabby explains to the twins that they enjoy better products than were historically enjoyed by royalty, like Elizabeth. It isn’t enough to just start a business; they need to learn from their historical heroes and brainstorm ways to keep up with their competition.
In a stroke of genius—and with the help of Gabby and their parents—they create their own secret sauce, as well as Tuttle Trays, sauce holders to help prospective customers eat on-the-go.
The stand’s new amenities start to reclaim the twins’ customers from their vigorous competitor. Even Karinne is impressed by the Tuttle Dogs secret sauce. The two marvel at how busy the park is, and they thank Karinne for giving them a reason to improve. Now they’ll have to obtain the proper permits—but that’s another story.
What Did We Learn in “Of Business and Benjamins”?
Ethan and Emily learn a lot of important lessons about entrepreneurship as they get Tuttle Dogs off the ground.
Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle, Grandma Gabby, and Benjamin Franklin help the twins to get the ball rolling. The twins learn that an entrepreneur’s purpose is to solve problems and help people with their ideas. They discover that one can obtain notoriety and wealth with a big idea, and Benjamin Franklin inspires them to find their own entrepreneurial project.
Benjamin Franklin once said that “to cease to think creatively is to cease to live.” In addition to being a Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin was a prolific inventor responsible for some of today’s most essential household inventions, including, but not limited to, the following:
The lightning rod
The Franklin Stove
Even though Franklin found success in bringing several of his ideas to life, he explains to the twins that success didn’t follow every single entrepreneurial effort he made. Franklin’s successes were the product of many ideas, most of which fell by the wayside and didn’t see success.
Annie Turnbo Malone helps the kids along in the last stage of getting their business off the ground. Malone’s experience putting in elbow grease and staying ahead of the competition sets the perfect example when the kids are befuddled by Karinne’s efforts to compete.
Malone built an empire as one of the first manufacturers of hair products for African-American women and subsequently became the first African-American woman to become a multimillionaire. Her success did not, however, come to her all at once or as a result of a few lucky plays; Malone built her business from the ground up, and when others started to copy her ideas, she used that competition as fodder to improve her offering and stay ahead of the curve.
Be Like Ethan & Emily
Kids and adults alike have a lot to learn from the Tuttle kids. Ethan and Emily pick up valuable knowledge about economics and business as they meet historical heroes and experiment with what they learn.
Parents, you can help your kids catch the entrepreneurial bug, and develop the unique resilience that comes with making the most of a big idea.
How can you give your kids opportunities to be an entrepreneur?
Acquaint them with savvy, resilient role models—like Annie Turnbo Malone and Benjamin Franklin—who used grit and determination to better the lives of other people.
Help them brainstorm ideas of their own, and look for needs and problems to be solved around in their community.
Assist them in becoming entrepreneurs in their own way. Help them set up a lemonade stand, obtain babysitting clients, mow lawns for their neighbors, etc.
Teach your kids how money works! Help them set up a bank account and create a budget.
Learn unique and valuable skills like coding, marketing, writing, podcasting, video editing, and so much more!
Use the lessons taught in Tuttle Twins to supplement your own efforts to raise critically thinking, problem-solving entrepreneurs.
Support Tuttle Twins
If you’re looking for entertainment that teaches valuable principles in a clever, hilarious, engaging package, Tuttle Twins takes viewers around the world and back in time to discover what it means to be a good citizen and a productive member of society.
Ready to learn all about freedom and economics with your favorite twins? Watch the next episode of Tuttle Twins, “Rising Tides and Dirty Deals,” in which Ethan and Emily discover the power of big businesses to keep the little ones down, and take an eventful trip to the lost city of Atlantis. There are plenty of Tuttle family adventures to keep you and your family entertained and discussing important topics! Stream the show for free on the Angel Studios app or at Angel.com/TuttleTwins.
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