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Date and Time
Sat, May 7, 2022.
Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912, USA
Apply to the fair
Ready to have the experience of a lifetime?
Observe the opportunity for children 6-14 to launch their very own startup business!
Kids develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy, and then open for customers at our one-day marketplace.
We will host 40 booths at the second annual event at Laurel Ave (between Eastern Ave & Carroll Ave) on Saturday May 7, 2022 from 10:00am – 2:00pm.
The rain date will be May 14, 2022.
This event is sponsored by Takoma Park local business owners, and the generous support of our community and volunteers. We all believe that principled entrepreneurs are heroes and role models for the next generation.
Whether an entrepreneur is famous like Elon Musk or Oprah Winfrey or they are one of the thousands of unsung business owners across this country, these are the people who make sacrifices to innovate, create jobs and serve their communities.
Lavanya Sithanandam, M.D. completed medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois followed by pediatric residency at one of the nation’s top ranked children’s hospitals, Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. Dr. Sithanandam is the medical director at Park Pediatrics and the director of their Reach Out & Read Program. She is a strong advocate for her patients, fluent in Spanish and is certified by the International Society of Travel Medicine. She is currently serving as the vice chair of pediatrics for Holy Cross Hospital in Germantown, MD. She is happily married with two beautiful sons.
Gabe Seiden is the founder and owner of Connect4 Consulting, a technology-driven marketing firm located in Takoma Park. With more than 20 years of marketing and IT experience, Gabe Seiden provides small businesses and non-profit organizations full service technology and marketing solutions by uniting marketing, communications, design, and technology. Connect4 Consulting specializes in websites, graphic design, social media, and internet marketing. Gabe’s clients include solo entrepreneurs, small businesses, non-profit organizations, law firms, and doctors. No project is too small or too big.
When he’s not running his business, Gabe is active in the Takoma Park community as the VP of Communications for the PBES PTA as well as a Takoma Soccer coach.
Samira Cook Gaines is the Economic Development Manager for Takoma Park, MD and owner of Purposeful World Strategies, a consulting firm that helps organizations create structures and programs for inclusive entrepreneurship and small business support. Samira's women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship work has also taken her to numerous countries as a speaker, facilitator, trainer, and consultant for governments, organizations, and universities in Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, Latin America and the Caribbean. Samira received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts and her MPA from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Samira volunteers on the Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, DC.
Ever since he could remember, Eric Saul has always been fascinated by buildings and architecture. What started with Lincoln Logs and Legos eventually became real buildings. Since founding Saul Architects in 2005, Eric has designed over $30 million in construction and over 250,000 square feet. Saul Architects has quickly become one of the leading residential architecture firms in Takoma Park and Silver Spring, MD. Saul Architects is licensed to practice architecture in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Eric resides in Takoma Park, Maryland with his wife, Diana, and his dog, The Dude. When he is not working or flipping houses, you can find Eric playing or coaching baseball.
Mei Mei Chang Installation/Mixed Media/Painting/Fiber Arts MEI MEI CHANG
Mei Mei received her Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Ohio University 2002. As a mixed media and installation artist, Mei Mei explores various media to bridge her internal and external worlds. She is a lifelong student of the human psyche, fascinated by the mind's ability to focus on details great and small without limits. Using her internal symbols, she creates rich visual images that are both highly personal and accessible by all. Mei Mei has received numerous awards and residencies, including at the Vermont Studio Center, Great River Art Association, the ARCH Residency at Honfleur Gallery, the Montgomery College Artist Residency, and second place in the Contemporary South Exhibition.
Rob, Jocelyne, and David create a triangle of culinary and cultural backgrounds from Louisiana, New York, and the Pacific Northwest. After being early drivers of the DC specialty coffee and craft cocktail scene, directing F&B for large resorts, working under celebrated chefs and entrepreneurs, and helping launch a fast-casual franchise, we realized the need for a holistic approach in achieving hospitality excellence. And so The Girl & The Vine strives to create a laid-back environment where we obsess about what’s poured so our guests don’t need to stress about it.
Roberto Tapia is the creator and owner of Roda Movements Fight -Fitness-Dance, he began teaching Capoeira in 1999 at different universities in Santiago, Chile and at various gyms and cultural centers. Upon arriving in the United States in 2005 he began teaching in Rockville, Maryland and Washington, D.C. He hopes to provide his students (kids & adult) with high quality classes that enhance their skill and love of capoeira. In April 2008 Roberto opened Roda Movements in Takoma Park, MD dedicating himself full time to growing the studio to include fight, fitness and dance movement styles. His motivation to start the studio was to provide a place in which the community can learn different styles of martial arts, fitness and dances at the same time to get fit and have fun.
The versatile Laura directs multi-jurisdictional, economic development strategy in Takoma Park, MD and the Takoma neighborhood of Washington, DC. She recruits desirable businesses to fill vacancies and manage relationships with businesses, property owners, city government staff, elected officials and community stakeholders. She also conceptualize and oversees community-wide events and public art projects, while working with the City of Takoma Park and the community to address city beautification, crime and safety and several other public issues. Laura write grants, proposals and applications for funding sources that goes to supporting many of the City’s cultural events and projects.
Twenty-five years ago, when Mei Xu emigrated from China to the U.S., she loved going to Bloomingdale's to gaze at their housewares. She eventually started making candles in her basement with Campbell's Soup cans, an experiment that led to the multi-million dollar company Chesapeake Bay Candle.
Holly Chang / Kerron Miller Tracy Stuger Scott / Duane Scott
We are a team of local parents, who believe that our children can learn about entrepreneurship in a practical and fun way.
Our goal is for kids to acquire essential entrepreneurial skills - communication, creativity, critical thinking, time management, collaboration and grit.
It is important for our children to understand that success doesn't always come easy. Success, in fact, is all about trying, learning and getting better.
This event is sponsored by the generous support of Takoma Park business owners and volunteers, who all believe that principled entrepreneurs are heroes and role models for the next generation.
We invite you to join us and ignite your child’s entrepreneurial passions!
Thank You to Our Incredible Sponsors
Become a Sponsor
We invite you to celebrate the power of entrepreneurship with the following sponsorship levels. Your sponsorship provides resources for young entrepreneurs, and benefits your business through our marketing to parents and the larger entrepreneurship community in Takoma Park.
What is Takoma Park Children’s Business Fair? Takoma Park Children’s Business Fair inspires children to discover their inner entrepreneur. The largest entrepreneurship event for children in North America, this one-day market gives children the opportunity to showcase their very own businesses.
When and where will it be held? The second annual Takoma Park Children’s Business Fair will be held at Laurel Ave (between Eastern Ave & Carroll Ave) on Saturday May 7, 2022 from 10:00am – 2:00pm. Businesses can start setting up at 9:00 am.
What is the rain date? The rain date will be May 14, 2022.
Who can participate? Children who are ages 6 to 14 on the date of the business fair can participate.
Scholarship and assistance are available! Please email us.
How does it work? Young entrepreneurs submit an application and then begin to build a product or service. They plan their business at every level: product/service, marketing, accounting, cost of goods, pricing, and more.
Accepted applicants will sell their product or service to real customers from a booth at the fair.
How many businesses will you accept? We will accept up to 40 businesses.
Is there a fee to participate? We will collect a $20 participation fee from all accepted businesses. The fee will be collected online via Paypal prior to the fair.
Unsure where to begin? 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, imagine the feeling (and responsibility) of having a little extra spending money as a result.
How do I apply? Can I apply as part of a group? Application must be submitted online by March 20, 2022. Please submit one application for each business. Children working as a group should submit one application that includes each child’s information. Space are limited and can be filled very quickly, we encourage siblings or friends to team up as one application so more people can participate. No more than 3 participants per business. If children of different age groups submit a business together, they will be judged in the age group of the oldest participant. Applications will be accepted for the 2022 business fair from March 1 through March 20, 2022.
What is on the application? The application asks children 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?
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 an 8-foot table (to share with one other business), full-cover tenting, and 1-2 chairs. Table cloths will not be provided. We are not able to accommodate businesses requiring electricity. Here is a site plan.
Will electricity be available? Unfortunately, we are not able to provide electricity to the booths.
Will there be prizes? Yes. We believe that starting and running your own business is its own reward, but in order to recognize those entrepreneurs who go above and beyond, we have awards in specific categories:
Most original business idea Best branding/marketing Best sales presentation/pitch
All entries will be automatically entered in the business competition. The competition will be judged according to the following four age groups: 6-7, 8-10, 11-12, and 13-14. If children of different age groups submit a business together, they will be judged in the age group of the oldest participant.
Judges will ask the entrepreneurs questions about the fundamentals of their business, such as how they came up with product prices and who their target market is. Judges will also evaluate how much of the business reflects the child's own work (versus the parents'). Prizes will be presented at the end of the fair.
What are the rules? This event is designed to give children the experience of creating a business and selling a product or service. If a parent is found creating a business for a child or selling or promoting a child’s product or service, the child’s business will be disqualified from consideration for an award.
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.
What advice do you have for parents? Please remember to keep this about the children. Let them imagine, create, and problem solve. Your job is to maintain enthusiasm and provide encouragement.
Keep it simple. This is a children’s fair. Let the business plan, booth, and sales reflect your child at her/his best, not your best.
Let your child do the work. Let her make mistakes and learn from them. Let him problem solve and come up with his own solutions. Let her be messy! Let your child be the Chair of the Board, CEO, and owner of his/her ideas.
If your child gets stuck, return to the key question for her entrepreneurial journey: “What can I make with my own hands that others might enjoy?”
Takoma Park Children's Business Fair sparks children's entrepreneurial spirit.
The largest entrepreneurship event for children in North America, this morning-long fair gives children the opportunity to showcase their very own businesses.
Children ages 6 to 14 are invited to create a product or service and sell to customers at our morning-long market. Prizes will be given for the best businesses by age and category.
Past businesses have included abacus bracelets, thrift store, hair supply kit for busy girls on the go, a photography booth featuring the wild west, and a homemade dog treat stand that donated a percentage of profits to local animal shelter. The possibilities are limited only to what children can create!
Originally started in Austin, Texas, the Acton Children's Business Fair has grown to cities including Chicago, Phoenix, Grand Rapids, Dallas, Los Angeles, and our neighborhood cities Washington, DC, Rockville, Baltimore, Price George's, Columbia, Annapolis, Ellicott City, Alexandria and Fairfax!
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Have a question for the team at Acton's Children Business Fair
Takoma Park, MD? Please contact us by
using the form below, and we will be in touch as soon as possible with
a reply. Thanks for your interest!
The Acton Children's Business Fair does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin and admits and gives all hosts and participants access to the same rights, privileges, programs and activities.