What is the Acton Children’s Business Fair?
The Acton Children’s Business Fair inspires children (6-16 years of age) 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.
The fair is open to the general public at no cost unless your child is looking to register their business in order to sell products.
How many businesses will you accept?
We will accept up to 50 children's businesses.
Where should I begin?
Start with our resources page. Read inspiring stories about other young entrepreneurs and play games to hone your business skills.
What is the age requirement?
Participants must be between 6-16 years of age. Kids (-not parents) have to do everything from idea to sale. This is not a fair for parents to promote their own business.
How do I apply? Can I apply as part of a group?
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.
How much does it cost to have a booth?
Entry fee is $40 per business. 1 table per business will be provided. Each business must bring anything additional (tent, tablecloth, etc.).
How do you submit payment?
There are three ways to submit payments:
1. Online at registration
2. Zelle to: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Mail or drop off a personal check made out to Tej Acton Academy. Mailing address is: Tej Acton Academy, 3695 Rose Terrasse Circle, San Jose, CA 95148.
Any business not selected as a finalist will be refunded their payment.
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 will be an outdoor event. Each business will be given space to setup their table, chairs and materials. We encourage participants to bring anything extra they need such as chairs, tents and table cloths. We are not able to accommodate businesses requiring electricity.
Families should plan to arrive at least 1-2 hours early (the facility opens at 9am) to set up their business.
Will electricity be available?
Unfortunately, we are not able to guarantee the availability of electricity at 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 (or their own product/service), their child’s business will be disqualified from the competition. Remember, it is ok if your child makes mistakes! It is part of the learning.
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 in setting up and executing their business idea (table display, making products, marketing, setting pricing, etc.) by themselves. Lastly, food is not allowed to be sold at the event as it requires a permit.
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. Today it is the largest children's entrepreneurial event in North America.