BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – In Ascension Parish, kids are putting their entrepreneurial skills to the test. Active Leadership Academy hosts the annual Kids’ Business Expo.
Young entrepreneurs are learning the ins and outs of running a business. This initiative started about 15 years ago in Texas. Now, about 200-300 schools across the country are participating.
“I think it’s great,” says young entrepreneur Alana Sweets. “I’ve made a lot of people very happy and a lot of people who wouldn’t necessarily buy it…but might.”
They came up with a product to sell at a community business fair, hoping to both turn a profit and compete for prizes.
Jeremy Molley, owner of Active Leadership Academy, said: “We want kids to understand what it’s like to start a business, what it takes to actually start a business, and to come up with an idea, a dream, and then actually take it and execute it. .”
All hands are “absent” to parents, Morley said. If they were caught helping their children, it could cost them money.
“In fact, if your parents walked up to the back of the booth and tried to sell you, they would actually be disqualified,” Morley said.
Just two weeks after the event, one of the young entrepreneurs, Alana Sweet, decided to do something different—from wind chimes to scented candles.
“It was a little bit stressful because I had a different business at first,” Sweets said.
Alana said the last-minute learning curve taught her a lot about owning a business. Now the 10-year-old and Jeremy have some advice for parents and future child participants.
“Find something that’s not too hard to do, find something that’s easier to start, and experiment with business ideas. See what people like. See what your customers are like, and work really hard,” says Sweets.
“Kids are capable of a lot more than we think if we don’t get in the way sometimes and let them do their magic and have fun,” Morley said.
By the end of the show, Alana hopes to pay off the debt. The young entrepreneur said she had to pay back her mum for all the materials and supplies.
To learn more about Active Children’s Business Fair, visit the program’s website.