What is the Omaha Children’s Business Fair?
The Omaha Children’s Business Fair inspires children to discover their inner entrepreneur. As part of 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 100 businesses.
Where should I begin?
Unsure where to start? Our advice is to keep it simple.
- First, think about what you can make with your own hands that others might enjoy.
- Next, picture how you might sell it.
- Finally, image the feeling (and responsibility) of having a little extra spending money as a result.
For inspiration for participants and parents alike, plan to attend our Launch Event! This fun event will include business advice from local entrepreneurs, stories from prior participants, an opportunity for youth to share their pitch and prototype product, and details about day-of logistics! Register to attend when you apply to the fair.
For more inspiration, check out pictures and stories from our past fairs on our Facebook page.
How do I apply? Can I apply as part of a group?
Yes. Each business may have up to 2 participants. The parent/legal guardian of the "lead participant" will fill out the application at the link above, paying the $20 application fee (one fee per business), and then will receive a special link to share with the additional participant for their parent/legal guardian to fill out.
Is there a fee to apply?
Yes. There is a $20 non-refundable application fee per business to help cover the expenses of the event.
What is on the application?
The parent / legal guardian of each participant must be the one to submit the application and agree to the included waivers. See our Policies & Procedures document
Business Details Portion:
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?
The application also asks each participant to submit a video to our fair Flip platform
, answering the following questions below (includes questions for both the participant and their parent/guardian to answer in a single video). Please note: Any submitted applications will remain on the waitlist until this video is received.
- Where did you get the idea for your business?
- What will be the biggest challenge for you in this experience?
- What are you most excited about for this experience?
- How did you hear about the Omaha Children's Business Fair?
- What are you most excited about for your child in this experience?
- What about this experience will be most challenging for you as a parent?
- Do you have any other questions for us or ways we can support you in this experience?
What if someone else has the same business idea?
Two cupcake businesses? Not a problem. In general, we will let market forces play out.
How will the fair be set up?
The fair will be an indoor event on the main level of the Omaha Palazzo. Each business will be given one 4-ft. section of table and 1-2 chairs. 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 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 by themselves.
How did the Omaha 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.
Chris and Rachel Benson were so inspired by the Sandefers that they started the Omaha Children's Business fair in 2018 to cultivate a courageous, creative and entrepreneurial spirit in Omaha youth!