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Every child is a hero with gifts and capable of changing the world. Some are more naturally inclined to make, sell, and dream of business at a young age. Entrepreneurship is a natural expression of a child’s gifts and there are many ways parents can foster entrepreneurship in them.
4 Ways to Foster Entrepreneurship in Children
Embrace Your Child’s Ideas
Our children have lots of ideas and it’s easy to dismiss them but what if their ideas could lead to amazing things? It’s important to embrace their ideas to foster entrepreneurship in children.
When my daughter was 11, she decided she wanted to make and sell ribbon barrettes to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Her best friend at the time had CF and she wanted to help. I loved her entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to support her new philanthropic endeavor but also wanted to be realistic.
I knew whatever money raised would go towards more research for better drugs to help CF patients. It was a great cause but I didn’t want my daughter to be disappointed if her fundraiser didn’t take off.
The girls spent the summer making ribbon barrettes and selling them at a lemonade-stand style in her friend’s yard.
That summer their efforts raised $140 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The girls were thrilled, and I breathed a sigh of relief. They were ecstatic about their donation to the CFF.
Having experienced success, the girls continued their fundraising efforts the following summer. They took and shared photos through my Instagram and Facebook profile to share their story and why they were fundraising for this important cause. Friends and followers started placing orders via social media and the response was overwhelming!
We developed an online ordering system and website. My daughter taught her friends how to make ribbon barrettes for swim teams, schools, and others who have heard about their efforts. By the end of the summer, they shipped ribbon barrettes all over the world and raised over $3,000!
My initial skepticism was replaced by pride knowing that money was being raised to support CF research, one ribbon barrette at a time. I was glad I embraced my daughter’s ideas and encouraged other parents to foster entrepreneurship in children by just believing in them.
Attend an Acton Children’s Business Fair in Your Area
One of the best ways to foster entrepreneurship in children while supporting youth businesses is to find an Acton Children’s Business Fair in your area. Acton Children’s Business Fairs feature businesses created and launched by children and can be found in cities around the country and the world.
In 2007 Jeff and Laura Sandefer started the first Acton Children’s Business Fair in Austin, Texas. With the help of a few other families, they created an event whose goal was to spark a sense of wonder and entrepreneurship in their children. The Sandefer’s enjoyed their first Children’s Business Fair so much, they knew they had to share it.
Today there are 831 fairs in 266 cities that support 38,560 young entrepreneurs in 16 countries around the world. It’s easy to find one near you!
Use this link and click on Find a Fair.
The next page will take you to upcoming events that you can scroll through but it’s easiest to type in your state and click Go.
Once you find a fair closest to your home, you can click to visit the fair’s page to learn more about the date, time, and location. The same page also has a link for you and your child to work together to apply to have a booth at your local fair.
Apply to Have a Booth at Your Local Acton Children’s Business Fair
I wish I had known about Acton Children’s Business Fairs years ago! It would have been a great, safe, in-person way my daughter could have raised awareness about CF and sold her ribbon barrettes.
Acton Children’s Business Fair is perfect for children with a product or a service. Fairs allow children to launch their own startup in a supportive way in a safe environment right in your community.
If a fair near you is accepting applications, your child can apply for a booth. I recommend working with your budding entrepreneur to fill out the application together. The application helps foster entrepreneurship in children by asking:
- The name of their business
- Describing the product or service they plan to sell
- The price they will charge for each item and amount each item costs to make
- Their plan for advertising their business prior to The Fair
- How they will pay for startup costs. It’s ok if parents or an adult sponsor is assisting with supply costs. Acton wants to know from children, “How do you plan to pay them back.”
- How they will determine if their business has been a success at the end of the event
These questions help children think about developing a brand, creating a product or service, and building a marketing strategy as they think about opening for customers at the one-day marketplace.
Before mentioning the idea of having a booth to your children at your nearby fair, it’s important to know that the number of available booths at each Fair location depends on space. There is also a cut-off date for applications so if you missed the application window, you could wait until next year or host a fair of your own!
Apply to Host an Acton Children’s Business Fair in Your Community
As a mom of a philanthropist with an entrepreneurial spirit, I could have also applied to host my own Fair. Acton Children’s Business Fair makes it easy for families to host their own fair to foster entrepreneurship in children in a safe environment.
Auditioning to host is easy and the Fair provides all the tools a host needs to get started. The 3-step application process is designed to protect children. Vetted hosts receive a kit, customized website, and up to $500 in prize money, no matter where you are in the world.
Interested in hosting? Start by filling out the short application to share a bit about yourself and your fair.
The next part involves submitting an introductory video. While the video may seem intimidating, it allows Acton Children’s Business Fair to assess some basic qualifications and weed out people who shouldn’t be fair hosts to protect children.
If you’re concerned about costs, hosting a fair can be surprisingly inexpensive. For a small fair, all you need is a small yard or some greenspace, a few donated card tables, and some excited young entrepreneurs from your neighborhood.Acton Children’s Business Fair encourages interested families to start super small. Smaller fairs will fit in a front yard or local green space while others use churches or community centers or parks.
If you’re worried you have to start well in advance, Acton Children’s Business Fair says a small fair with 8-10 tables only needs 3-4 weeks of planning time. Larger fairs require up to several months of planning.
If you recently attended a Fair and are interested in hosting another one, don’t be concerned if your city has already had an Acton Children’s Business Fair. There is always more than enough entrepreneurial spirit to go around and the more fairs there are, the opportunities there are to foster entrepreneurship in kids! Hosts can reserve a 2-week block within 10 miles of the fair location to avoid overlapping events.
Whether you attend, your child applies to have a booth, or you host your own fair in your community, Acton Children’s Business Fair helps foster entrepreneurship in kids. A local Acton Children’s Business Fair is an excellent way for children to experience entrepreneurship in a safe environment.
Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.