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Date and Time
Sat, May 4, 2024.
Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912, USA
Apply to the fair
Ready to have the experience of a lifetime?
Observe the opportunity for children 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 50 booths at the third annual event at Laurel Ave (between Eastern Ave & Carroll Ave) on Saturday May 4, 2024, rain date May 11 from 10:00am – 2:00pm.
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.
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.
Dr Lavanya Sithanandam Owner and Medical Director Park Pediatrics & Park Travel Medicine 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 happily married with two beautiful sons.
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.
Britteny, also known as “Bibi,” was born and raised in Takoma Park, Maryland. She is the owner of “Bibi Abelle Studios" where she specializes in fine line tattooing and single needlework. Focusing on details, the majority of her work consists of realism and precise lettering. Almost two years into her tattooing career, Britteny has grown exponentially and is outgrowing her original space. Thus “Bibi Abelle Studios” was born. Britteny is excited for the opportunity to share her passion for art with others and is dedicated to growing with the community that raised her.
Carina is a Certified Nurse Midwife and NAMS Certified Menopause Provider with over 25 years of health care experience. In August of 2018, she opened Takoma Park Gynecology, LLC, a boutique medical practice providing a range of gynecology, menopause, sexual medicine, and primary care services. In 2020, she was recognized with a Mayoral Proclamation for Services Provided During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Takoma Park Gynecology, LLC is a 100% woman-owned business.
Carina is resident of Takoma Park, and the mother of a junior at Montgomery Blair High School.
Leandra is a long-time Takoma resident with deep ties to the community and passion for social justice, microentrepreneurship, and simplified living. A change-maker and community-builder at heart, she founded Main Street Pearl, a youth-centered community living room with an emphasis on creating a safe space for queer and neurodivergent youth. She recently joined The Big Bad Woof's team, working on community partnerships and engagement. She lives with her tween and teen, spends her free time caring for neighbors' animals, walking in the woods, and enjoying food and drink at our local businesses.
As an expert hair transplant specialist, Al-Tariq Harris has worked with some of the best hair restoration physicians and companies in the nation. Al-Tariq founded Anagen Hair Restoration in 2005 with a goal of helping patients make the right choice in choosing how to best solve their hair loss needs. Al-Tariq is a proud alumni of Howard University and a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. With a love for entrepreneurship, Al-Tariq makes it a priority to support local and minority-owned businesses. He has lived in Takoma Park for the past 13 years with his wife and 2 kids.
Katie Jett Walls is documentary photographer, creating visual stories for families in the Washington DC area, as well shooting documentary projects that give voice to those in marginalized communities and witness to the human experience.
Katie is the founder and editor of Confluence Magazine, which launched in September 2018, to highlight the documentary projects of emerging photo storytellers and connect them with gatekeepers in media and publishing.
Katie is a mom to a precocious second grader and wife to a precocious computer nerd.
MCPS MD Students - SSL
Audric Chang, Graphic Design
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!🔥
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? 2024 Takoma Park Children’s Business Fair will be held at Laurel Ave (between Eastern Ave & Carroll Ave) on Saturday May 4, 2024 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 11, 2024.
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 50 businesses.
Is there a fee to participate? We will collect a $35 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 ##, 2024. 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 2024 business fair from March ## through March ##, 2024.
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 Most Socially Conscious (New)
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?”
Can I volunteer? Of course! Please email us. We will post MCPS SSL opportunities during Spring of 2024, stay tune!
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!
Join our mailing list to receive updates about the business fair.
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.