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 are able to accept up to 35 micro-businesses (child-led).
Is there a cost to participate?
Yes. The Registration Fee serves 2 purposes:
- We have a limited number of spots for this Children's Business Fair. The $25 Registration Fee is an earnest fee to make sure our young entrepreneurs are committed to the event, and factoring the cost of doing business into their planning.
- Secondly, we have costs to cover including t-shirts, insurance, etc. The $15 is a small amount to pitch towards the total costs. We are seeking sponsors to help cover the remaining costs..
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?
The application must be submitted online. Please 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.
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 booths will be located in the outdoor Atrium at the entrance of the Museum of Discovery & Science. We have room for 35 tables. Each business will get a 6-foot table and 1-2 chairs. Table cloths will not be provided. We are not able to accommodate businesses requiring electricity.
Will electricity be available?
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide electricity to the booths.
What are the rules?
This event is designed to give children (ages 5-14) the experience of selling a product or service. If a parent is found selling or promoting a child’s product or service, their child’s business will be disqualified from the competition.
Parents of younger children may sit in the booth, but the children should be responsible for set up, customer interaction, and sales.
Parents may help their child fill out the application, but we expect the children to do as much as possible and by themselves.
How did the original Acton Children’s Business Fair get started in Austin Texas over a dozen years ago?
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.
You can read more about the first Children's Business Fair in the book Courage To Grow