Youth Business Fair Southport-Oak Island

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April 30, 2019

Youth Business Fair


The Southport-Oak-Island Area Youth Business Fair is a new event in 2019.

The Brunswick County Chamber piloted the Building Brunsco Kids Expo on August 25th, 2018.  Seeing their success, the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce and North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce added a similar event in their areas of the County. 

What is a Youth Business Fair?  Applicants create a product or service, develop the brand, and then market and sell it at the event. They run the booths without adult assistance ensuring they practice skills necessary for professional and personal growth such as creative and critical thinking, math and communication skills.

The Southport-Oak Island Youth Business Fair will be held on Saturday, November 23rd from 10:00 am - 1:00pm in Brunswick Community College Southport Center, 705 North Lord Street, Southport.   Participant application deadline is 9/20/2019.   There is not a fee for the youth to participate. There will be two Workshops for the participants - 9/23 and 11/4 both from 6:00pm - 7:30pm at the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce.

This event is sponsored by Acton Academy & Acton Children's Business Fair and the Brian Hamilton Foundation.  

The participants will be judged, and awards given out to  Most Original, Highest Business Potential, Best Presentation & Overall. Title Certificate Sponsors Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Ken White & Southport Magazine.

Age Group Sponsors:  Kindergarten to 2nd Grade -  Burnish Bookkeeping, CFF Kids Gymnastics and Fitness Academy, Soaring Away.  3rd Grade to 5th Grade - R.D. White and Sons and SeaGlass Designs - glass straws.  6th Grade to 8th Grade - Jamerson Appliance Repair and Youth Choice Family Health & Wellness.  9th Grade to 12th Grade - Coastal Painting & Improvements & Dosher Memorial Hospital.

What is the Youth Business Fair?

The Southport-Oak Island Youth Business Fair inspires children to discover their inner entrepreneur.  The Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Acton Academy, the Acton School of Business, who organizes the largest entrepreneurship event for kids in North America, this one-day market gives children the opportunity to showcase their very own businesses.

How many businesses will you accept?

We will accept up to 36 businesses.

Where should I begin? 

Start with Acton Academy & Acton Children's Business Fair. resources page. Read inspiring stories about other young entrepreneurs and play games to hone your business skills. Another great resource is The Brian Hamilton Foundation site.

How do I apply? Can I apply as part of a group?

Application must be submitted online or paper registration. 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.

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 indoor tabletop event. Each business will be given an 8-foot table and 1-2 chairs. Table cloths will not be provided. We have limited access to electricity. 

Will electricity be available?

We will have limited access to electricity.  Make sure to indicate if you need access to electricity on your application.

Will there be any Workshops? 

There will be two Workshops for the participants - 9/23 and 11/4 both from 6pm - 7:30pm at the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce.  Participants unable to attend the workshops will be required to complete The Hamilton Challenge.

Workshop on 9/23:
  • Can your Business Generate Revenue, tomorrow?
  • Price your product/service to sell.
  • Sales Pitches That Win (5 key ingredients, Entrepreneur Student Pitch Demonstration, Pitch Assignement for Workshop Two).
Workshop on 11/4:
  • Panel of Stories - Young Entrepreneurs and their Ventures
  • Pitch Your product/service - 60 second sales pitch to panel and video posted on Facebook.
  • One Panelist Critiques on Pitch.
  • Certicate for Workshop attendance.
  • Membership for a year.

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, their child’s business will be disqualified from the competition.
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.

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. Now, there are over 115 entrepreneurs and 1,500 attendees at the Acton Children's Business Fair in Austin.

How did the Southport-Oak Island Youth Business Fair get started?

Southport-Oak Island Area Youth Business Fair is one of three youth driven expos/fair in Brunswick County.  The Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce organizes the November Youth Business Fair in Southport, North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce organizes a May event in Leland and Brunswick County Chamber organizes a August event in Holden Beach.

The introduction of this new event was brought to Brunswick County to provide a forum for the next generation of entrepreneurs to showcase their passions and talents.

For more information contact Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce (910) 457-6964.

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