What is the Acton Children’s Business Fair?
The Acton Children’s Business Fair inspires children to discover their inner entrepreneur. The largest entrepreneurship event for kids in North America, this one-day market gives children the opportunity to showcase their very own businesses.
How many businesses will you accept?
We will accept up to 30 businesses.
Where should I begin?
Start with our resources page. Read inspiring stories about other young entrepreneurs and play games to hone your business skills.
How do I apply? Can I apply as part of a group?
Young entrepreneurs first make an important decision: they hire themselves! Applications must be submitted online. Participants will submit one application for each business. Children working as a group should submit one application that includes each child’s information. No more than 3 participants per business.
There is no application fee, but we do collect a $10 participation fee (per child) on the day of the event.
After applying, children bring their parents or guardians to attend the Launch Event. This is where accepted businesses can meet fellow entrepreneurs, ask questions, and share ideas. Attendance is encouraged, but not required.
The Launch Event will take place on Saturday, April 8th. Feel free to stop in anytime from 12pm-3pm at Acton Academy Jacksonville (3355 State Road 13, St Johns).
The children plan their business at every level: product, service, marketing, accounting, cost of goods, pricing, etc. During this process, they learn a sense of wonder, the importance of hard work, taking responsibility, and gaining confidence in the next challenge.
What is on the application?
The application asks kids to think through some simple, but important elements of their business:
- What product or service do you plan to sell?
- What price will you charge for each product/service? How much will each product/service cost you?
- How will you pay for your startup costs? If someone is helping you with your startup costs, how will you pay that person back?
- How will you advertise/market your business before the fair?
- At the end of the fair, how will you determine if your business was a success?
What if someone else has the same business idea?
Two cupcake businesses? Not a problem. In general, we will let market forces play out, though we will let later entries know if another applicant has a similar idea so the later entrant can decide what to do.
How will the fair be set up?
The fair will be a tented outdoor event with booths. Each business will be given a booth with a 6-foot table (to share with one other business), tenting, and 1-2 chairs. Table cloths will not be provided.
We are not able to accommodate businesses requiring electricity.
Food products may be sold, but may not be prepared or warmed in the booth.
Will electricity be available?
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide electricity to the booths.
What are the rules?
All entries will be automatically entered in the business competition, and booths will be judged by fellow entrepreneurs on a variety of criteria, including: Most Original Business Idea, Highest Business Potential, and Best Presentation/Creativity.
Applicants must be between the ages of 6 - 17 on or before April 29th, 2017.
Cash prizes of $50 per category and age group (to be split among the business owners) will be presented at the conclusion of The Fair.
Parents of younger children may sit in their booth, but the children are to be responsible for the setup, sales and interacting with the customers.
This event is designed to give children a taste of selling a product. Please let them have that experience.
Any parent seen selling to the customer or promoting the child’s product will result in disqualification from the competition.
How did the Acton Children’s Business Fair get started?
Jeff and Laura Sandefer and a few other families wanted to spark a sense of wonder and entrepreneurship in their children so they created the first Acton Children’s Business Fair in Austin, Texas, in 2007. That year, there were seven entrepreneurs and around 25 attendees. Now, there are over 115 entrepreneurs and 1,500 attendees at the Acton Children's Business Fair in Austin.