Children’s Business Fair sparks next generation of entrepreneurs

By Melissa Rollins, Editor, editor@newsandpress.net

When you give a child the tools they need to be successful a world of possibilities opens up to them. Last weekend, a Children’s Business Fair in Society Hill helped kids prepare an idea, implement a business and open it to the public.

Debbie Allen and Scott Dixon saw promotions for the Acton Children’s Business Fair and knew they had to put one on in Society Hill.

“Acton University is the university that started this,” Dixon said. “There was a couple there that started very much like we did: they had a small team and four kids showed up the first year. It basically went from there nationwide. This event is being done all over the United States and we are just an extension of that. It is exciting.”

Dixon said that for their first year they were extremely happy with the number of signups.

“We signed up seven booths, maybe ten or eleven kids,” Dixon said. “They had to do a business plan, fill our paperwork and talk about where their money was coming from, who was funding them. It is a kid run thing. We give them a table and a venue and they run with it.”

Debbie Allen said that her daughter has been selling homemade items for several years already so the business fair was the perfect venture for her.

“Stella Grace has been selling cinnamon rolls for the last three years raising money because she is a gymnast and needed extra money for that,” Allen said. “We happened to see Acton, which is a business school, on Facebook promoting this entrepreneur event for kids. I tagged Scott in it and he tagged me in it; I said okay well I guess we have to do it now.”

Allen said that Acton provides much of the basic information groups or individuals need to get a fair off the ground.

“They had guidelines and they get you started, with resources to let you know how to go about doing it; how to organize it basically,” Allen said. “We met and talked with the kids last night (Friday) and we had a business leader from town come in and talk to them. It just happened that our business owner who came it had just finished an entrepreneurship class in Florence County School District so she had a lot of insight; it was great.”

Both Allen and Dixon said that they are looking forward to hosting another fair next year.

There were three judges who walked around and either talked to the kids or watched them interact with customers.

Judges then scored each booth and an award ceremony was held at the end of the event.

Rachel Creech’s business was Rae’s Slime and Relaxation Creations. She sold a variety of slimes and salt scrubs.

“I’ve really loved slime for a long time and I knew that it would appeal to kids,” Creech said. “The salt scrubs I knew would appeal more to adults so I included that to have variety. At first my name was just Rae’s Slime Creations because that was all that I was doing. Then I realized there would be adults here and I added the salt scrubs and that is a relaxation kind of thing.”

Creech said that she chose the colors for her products based off of what she likes.

“My colors, my entire theme, is based off of my room,” she said. “And these colors (pinks, golds and sparkles) are also my favorite colors.”
Stella Grace Allen sold fresh baked goods.

“I came up with this business a few years ago for a gymnastics meet,” Allen said. “This year I made $627 just by selling bread. I went to the Nationals competition in Tampa, Florida and I paid for my family’s tickets to go to Busch Gardens. My grandmother gave me my recipe and she helped me learn to make it and now I make everything by myself.”

Emily Adams’ daughter Kendall and her friend Mayberry were selling bracelets and baked goods that they made. Their business was called The Goat Plan

“The girls have been making a plan and they want to get a goat,” Adams said. “We had been telling them that that is a lot of responsibility and that they would have to pay for it. They have been hashing this plan out that was going to be a lemonade stand on the side of the road so when we saw this we just thought it would be so much fun.”

Adams said that she was surprised but pleased to see how well the girls took to creating a business plan and working together.

“The girls have been amazing,” Adams said. “They have been collaborating, problem solving; they’ve been adaptable and flexible. I was really surprised how well they did putting the business plan together because they’re nine. They have just been really excited and I think at this point we are going to have to get a goat.”

Author: Rachel Howell

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