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?
At our fall 2017 fair, we accepted 45 businesses. We had an impressive list of 90 applications!
How do I apply? Can I apply as part of a group?
During our fall 2017 fair, applications were accepted online. Groups of 1-3 were invited to apply.
What is on the application?
The application asked 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 let market forces play out.
How will the fair be set up?
Each business was given a booth with a 6-foot table and one chair. Each business was be housed under one full-cover white tent (10x10-feet). There were no no power outlets for businesses.
What are the rules?
This event is designed to give children the experience of selling a product or service. If a parent was found selling or promoting a child’s product or service, their child’s business was disqualified from the competition. But we didn't have that problem - parents were wonderful supporters!
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.
The John William Pope Foundation is a private family foundation, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Lifetime entrepreneur John William Pope and his family established the Pope Foundation in 1986. Mr. Pope was the owner of Variety Wholesalers, Inc., the parent company for stores that include Roses and Maxways. Mr. Pope knew how rewarding entrepreneurship could be and was passionate about creating opportunities for young people. Today, the Foundation makes grants to nonprofits (including many in the Triangle-region) that help create opportunity for all. The mission of the Children’s Business Fair, to open children to new opportunities personally and academically, resonated with the Foundation. They knew they had to bring the fair to Raleigh! The Foundation is partnering with community businesses to bring the fair to Raleigh children at no cost.
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