Youth Business Fair Southport-Oak Island Bookmark this

April 21, 2020

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 and the Brian Hamilton Foundation to bring our area, this one-day market which gives children the opportunity to showcase their very own businesses.

The young entrepreneurs have created a product or service, developed the brand, and on Saturday, November 21, 2020 from 10am -1pm in the Southport City Gym (211 N. Atlantic Avenue) they will market and sell it at the Youth Business Fair. The public is encouraged to attend the Fair and “Shop Small” while supporting area youth.

There will be over 25 young entrepreneurs participating in the one-day market. Ages of the participants range from 2nd grade to 11th graders. The products and services vary widely.

These bright entrepreneurs will 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. To ensure success, the participants are required to attend two workshops organized by the Chamber, led by Jay Schach, Sea Grass Consulting and supported by SCORE of Cape Fear. The November Workshop will require participants to record a 60 second pitch for their product. These pitch recordings have been posted to the Chamber’s Facebook Page

The participants will be judged, and awards given for Most Original, Highest Business Potential, Best Presentation & Overall. Title Certificate Sponsors

This event is sponsored by Acton Academy & Acton Children's Business Fair.

2020 Table Sponsor: Margaret Rudd & Associates,Inc.,REALTORSSouthport Ace Hardware 

2020 Certificate Sponsors:  Kindergarten to 2nd Grade - Mitzi Swing, Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, Pacula Builders,

2019 Age Group Sponsors:  Kindergarten to 2nd Grade -  Burnish Bookkeeping, CFF Kids Gymnastics and Fitness Academy, Soaring Away,  Wilmington Sharks, 3rd Grade to 5th Grade - R.D. White and Sons, Hamilton Realty Group, Dosher Memorial Hospital and The Sea Glass Company - glass straws.  6th Grade to 8th Grade - Jamerson Appliance Repair, Bianchi Brickyard Supply and Youth Choice Family Health & Wellness.  9th Grade to 12th Grade - Coastal Painting & Improvements, River Road Animal Hospital & Dosher Memorial Hospital.

For more information contact the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce at (910) 457-6964 or visit the website at

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 6-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 -Dates TBA both from 6pm - 7:30pm at the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Workshop One::
  • 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 Two:
  • 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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