Welcome to the Waterloo Region Children's Business Fair! Applications are now CLOSED. Join our mailing list so you will be the FIRST to know when applications open up (before the public) for our next fair. Please join us at the fair on May 11th to support 75 awesome child run businesses! We are still accepting sponsorships and community partners who want to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in our young makers! Please contact Azra Usanovic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications are closed. Join our mailing list and get news about our events.
Date and Time
Sat, May 11, 2019.
Catalyst 137, 137 Glasgow St, Kitchener, N2G 4X8
Apply to the fair
Ready to have the experience of a lifetime?
“Forget show and tell: These young entrepreneurs aim to show and sell.” ~ The Washington Post, May 30, 2017
Let the leaders of the future show you where they’re starting today!
At the Waterloo Region Children's Business Fair, children have the opportunity to launch their very own startup business and showcase it to the community (and the world!). They develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy, and then open for customers at our one-day marketplace.
The 1st annual Waterloo Region Children's Business Fair is being held at the new and innovative Catalyst 137 building in Kitchener on May 11, 2019, from 11 am – 2 pm.
Whether an entrepreneur is famous like Elon Musk or Oprah Winfrey, or they are one of the thousands of unsung business owners across Canada, these are the people who make sacrifices to innovate, create jobs, and serve their communities. We are excited to bring the Children's Business Fair to Waterloo Region, to help empower even more of our children to become the innovators and change-makers our Region is so well known for.
If you would like to sponsor the event contact us at email@example.com!
If you would like to volunteer for the event, please submit an application here!
If you are an entrepreneur and would like to be a mentor for the Kidpreneurs at the event, please complete this form!
If you'd like to attend the event, mark it in your calendar, click "going" on the facebook event page, and we'll see you there!
*We have now filled up all of the booth space at the fair, however, we are accepting additional businesses on the waitlist.
What is the Children’s Business Fair?
The Children's Business Fair inspires children to discover their inner entrepreneur. The largest entrepreneurship event for kids in North America (with over 250 fairs worldwide!), this one-day market gives children the opportunity to showcase their very own businesses.
We excited to give kids the opportunity to be entrepreneurs - boosting their confidence, teaching valuable lessons, and giving them an experience they will never forget.
Our local even is brought to you by Waterloo Region Small Business Centre, JA Waterloo Region and Acton Academy Waterloo,
How many businesses will you accept?
We will accept up to 75 businesses.
When should I apply? What is the deadline?
Applications are currently being accepted and will be approved on an ongoing basis, as they are submitted. We want to give businesses as long as possible to create their products or develop their services, so we will try to let you know whether you have been accepted within 1-2 weeks of applying.
The official application deadline is March 31st, but if booths get sold out prior to this date, we will stop accepting applications at that time. The sooner you apply, the better chance you have of securing one of our 75 spots!
How do I apply? Can I apply as part of a group?
Applications must be submitted online, through this website. 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.
Please make sure to answer the questions with as much detail as possible, and ensure that the form is complete before submitting.
What if I am not in the specified age bracket?
There is some flexibility around the age range for participants. If your child younger than 6 and you feel confident that they are able to run their business mostly by themselves, please feel free to apply with them.
We will not be accepting applicants over the age of 14.
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?
Will you keep my information private?
Yes! We are committed to keeping your personal information (such as your full name, email address, school, phone number etc.) private and will not share such information with any third-party. This information is only for internal purposes.
Will children be photographed or filmed during the event?
Yes! The launch event and fair will be documented by a professional photographer and a professional videographer and the resulting digital media will be used to market the event and share its success with the community and the world! By applying for a booth at the fair, parents are thereby agreeing to allow the Waterloo Region Children's Business Fair permission to photograph and film their Child(ren) and use the resulting digital media at our discretion without compensation.
Some children will be selected for interviews by the filmmaker or news media at the fair and will have the choice to take part or to decline speaking in front of the camera.
What business ideas have already been taken?
The following is a list of current businesses already approved for the 2019 fair. The number is brackets next to the category is the number of businesses selling a similar product.
Clothing and Accessories (5)
Dog Treats (1)
Bath bombs (3) Soap (3) Lip balm (3)
Gift Bags (1)
Jewelry and Accessories (6)
Honey and honey products (2)
Clay magnets/trinkets/charms (2)
Bottle cap creatures (1)
Band Aids (1)
Herbal Remedies (1)
Keyrings, ornaments, airplanes (1)
Air Conditioner (1)
Hand sewed items (1) Knitted items (2)
Board games (1)
Paintings and Art (5)
Reusable bags and beeswax wraps (1)
Notebooks (2) Bookmarks (2) Used Books (2)
Organic skin cream (2) Spinners (1) Dream Catchers (2) Tutus (1) School Supplies (1) Pet products (1) Stress Balls (1)
Food (*no more spots available for food or beverage businesses) Kool Aid (2)
Cider and Switchel (1)
Cupcakes and other baked goods (3) Chocolate (1) Ice Cream (1) Pop/juice other beverages (1)
Coding sessions (1)
Henna Tattoos (1)
Design your own button (1) Design your own t-shirt (1)
What if someone else has the same business idea?
It depends! We will allow multiple businesses in certain categories such as art and jewelry, where the products will likely be very different and unique. We will limit other businesses depending on the nature of the product or service. The sooner you apply, the better chance you have of securing your idea!
We suggest checking out the list above and avoiding the categories that are already registered in order to ensure you have a unique product at the fair and to increase your chances of getting approved! There is an extensive list of ideas below and links to websites that describe how to make some really cool crafts that would sell very well at the fair!
Also consider providing a service! We would love to have booths that children and families can interact with such as face painting, photo booths, games, animal balloons and magic tricks.
I want to participate but I can't think of anything to sell!
There are so many great ideas out there! Check out these 4 websites for some DIY ideas (with how-to's) and we've put together a list of ideas below!
*We are no longer accepting food or beverage applications as all the spaces for this category have now been filled.
Yes! You may sell non-hazardous food items that do not support the growth of disease causing microorganisms. Examples include dry goods and cereals, baked goods, cookies, breads, potato chips, popcorn and candy.
Waterloo Region Public Health requires all food/beverage vendors to go through an approval process directly through them as well. There is additional paperwork required and they have the right to approve or decline any applications. Only businesses approved by Public Health can sell food/ beverages at the fair. Food/beverage businesses apply through our application form first, and once approved by us, we will provide information how to move on to the second step in the process and apply through Public Health.
How will the fair be set up?
Each business will be given a booth with a 4-foot table (or an 8 foot table to possibly to share with one other business), and 1-2 chairs. We are not able to accommodate businesses requiring electricity.
Is there a participation fee?
Businesses are required to pay $10 to secure a booth as part of their investment into their business. This investment is part of the authentic experience we are aiming to create for our kidpreneurs!
Approved businesses will be provided with further information about how to pay this fee.
What dates do I need to be available?
There is a mandatory launch event for all approved businesses on Sunday, April 28th, from 2:30 - 4:30 pm
The fair is being held Saturday, May 11th. You will need to have the full day available for the fair, including setup, a celebratory event after the fair ends, and take down.
Will electricity be available?
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide electricity to any of the booths.
Where can I learn about entrepreneurship?
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, imagine the feeling (and responsibility) of having a little extra spending money as a result.
Start with the resources page on the main www.childrensbusinessfair.org site. Read inspiring stories about other young entrepreneurs and play games to hone your business skills.
Feel free to do some research online about marketing, branding and profit. Explore examples of great product pitches, learn about interacting with customers, and get down to business creating your product or developing your service and putting the details together for your booth! Try practicing your pitch and customer service skills for family and friends at home!
You'll learn the most by getting your "hands dirty" and figuring things out all on your own.
What are the rules?
This event is designed to give children the experience of selling a product or service.
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.
It is the responsibility of the guardian/participant to check their email (spam) and social media communications from the CBF on a daily basis, as this is our primary means of communication with the group.
How did the Acton Children’s Business Fair get started?
Jeff and Laura Sandefer, owners of Acton Academy, 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, and over 250 separate fairs all around the world.
Acton Children's Business Fair is the philanthropy arm of the Acton Academy and Acton MBA programs. The purpose of the philanthropy is to promote entrepreneurial skills among children and to help them find their personal mission in life.
We believe that children are far more capable than most people can imagine and they deserve a chance to show the world what they've got!
This event is the first of it's kind in Waterloo Region!
Please check out the FAQ page for more information about the fair.
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Waterloo, ON? Please contact us by
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