A new event in the Golden Isles is calling on all young entrepreneurs to try their hand at small business ownership.
The first annual Children’s Business Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 9 at Village Creek Landing in St. simons All under 18s are invited to participate and sell their products or services.
Young people will be able to set up stands and sell their homemade products or business services such as dog walking and babysitting. Products for sale will include jewelry, candles, lemonade, baked goods and more.
“We want everyone in our community to come out and support the kids,” said Lisa Bareno, one of the organizers of the event.
Bareno and her husband, Alberto Llano, owners of Del Sur Artisan Eats in St. Simons and Del Sur Cafe in Brunswick, were inspired to bring the event to the community while watching their daughters embark on their first small business this summer.
Violeta and Victoria have seen their parents run businesses all their lives, which sparked their own entrepreneurial spirits early on. They asked to set up a lemonade stand outside of Del Sur in Pier Village, and on a free weekend their parents agreed.
“It was over the summer,” said Victoria, who is in fifth grade. Violeta is in second grade.
“We did it and made a lot of money.”
Bareno saw the success of the lemonade and the value of the experience for her daughters and began to think about other ways to create these types of opportunities. It was clear the community would want to support it, he said.
“They had a great time,” he said. “But the adults who were interested, you could tell they were very excited to participate.”
The experience teaches young people about creativity, planning, responsibility, interpersonal skills and more. They also gain confidence in the process.
“Their self-esteem will increase and it encourages you to be your own boss,” Llano said. “It encourages you to be an entrepreneur, a businessman and to dream big.”
Local business owners will serve as judges for a contest during the event. Awards will be given for three categories: Most Business Potential, Most Creative Idea and Most Impressive Presentation.
Event supporters include the College of Coastal Georgia’s Lucas Center for Entrepreneurship, the Golden Isles Development Authority, local businesses and others.
Christina’s Dance World will lead a dance activity at the beginning of the fair, which will end with the presentation of prizes to the participants. Porch will also bring its food truck.
“We want this event to be very special for everyone, not only for the kids who will be participating, but also for the visitors,” Bareno said.
Participants must register for the fair before September 30. Event organizers are also looking for sponsors.