Valley Children’s co-sponsored a Children’s Business Fair in Clovis on Saturday, Sept. 25. Guest writer and event organizer Mykel Suntrapak writes about the event and what it means to support young entrepreneurs in our community.
Last Saturday, 52 young risk takers put themselves and their craft on display at the inaugural Children’s Business Fair. Pitching their products to potential customers came easy to some; to others, it was a new skill to learn. Both groups sharpened this skill by day’s end. From popsicle catapults to cookies to engraved wood signs and so many other great products in between, every product offering was their own idea. Some of the kids sold out before the event was over and many caught the entrepreneur bug and are already planning their next business move.
It’s an experience that empowers local children ages 6-16 to develop their own brand of products or services. Parents are there for support, or as "assistants," but the kids call all the shots! The program started months ago when applicants submitted a questionnaire about their product, the price, their costs and how they planned to market it. The young vendors then attended a workshop to prepare them for the event with sessions on marketing, packaging, booth presentation and connecting with customers. There was wonderful exchange of ideas, not just from the presenters, but with each other, as well. It was wonderful to see them build a supportive young business community.
These young entrepreneurs aren’t just learning how to make money. More importantly, they are learning the art of communication, time management, negotiation and collaboration. It’s the lessons within the process that are the true gem of the program. The mindset and skill sets they are developing will benefit them not only through their academic careers, but in their personal and professional lives as well.
As an entrepreneur myself and a champion for kids, this felt like the perfect blend and opportunity for me to give back. Not only do I want this for my own son, but I knew this could be a fun and creative experience for other kids, too. This is just the beginning! Next year’s event planning is already underway and the program will continue to provide resources and support to our first 52 young entrepreneurs. I have no doubt these are our future leaders, innovators and business owners!