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Go Ask Mom

North Hills to host business fair for young entrepreneurs

Posted July 26

North Hills will host the first Raleigh Children's Business Fair for young entrepreneurs this fall, giving them a place to showcase their products and innovation and learn something about business.

The event, conducted like a farmers' market, is 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sept. 10, at the Commons in North Hills. It's designed for kids who are between the ages of 6 and 14 on Sept. 10. Businesses can have up to three children participating. Each business will get a booth to feature and sell their creations. A parent or guardian must be present during the fair, but the businesses should be operated by the kids. The goal is to turn a profit.

Applications are due Aug. 5. A $10 deposit per business is required. The deposit is returned to the business at the start of the event. The fair's website has more information and the application form, which is required to ensure that there aren't too many duplicate businesses.

The Raleigh fair will be one of more than a dozen across the country. Kayla Nguyen and Joyce Pope, through the John William Pope Foundation, are bringing the event here.

At a conference about a year ago, the two heard from entrepreneur and educator Jeff Sandefer, who launched the fair in Austin, Texas, with his wife and a few other families. At the conference, Nguyen tells me, Sandefer encouraged audience members to launch fairs in their own cities.

"Joyce and I thought it was a no-brainer to bring the fair to Raleigh, given that the Triangle is a rapidly growing area with a strong background of entrepreneurship and education opportunities," Nguyen tells me. She is a fellow at the foundation. Pope is its vice president.

The mission of the fair, to open children to new opportunities personally and academically, was a perfect match for the work of the Pope Foundation, a private family foundation that has a long commitment to entrepreneurship and educational causes in North Carolina, Nguyen tells me.

"We are emphasizing that it is the children who are to be acting as the owners and operators of their business, not their adult," Nguyen tells me.

So far, they've received a lot of positive feedback from families and businesses. They're also encouraging people to come out Sept. 10 to check out what the kids have come up with and take some items home!

There's more information on the Raleigh fair's website and Facebook page.


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