Baton Rouge, Louisiana (BRPROUD) — At Ascension Parish, kids are testing their entrepreneurial skills. Active Leadership Academy hosts its annual Children’s Business Expo.
Young entrepreneurs are learning the ins and outs of owning a business. The initiative started in Texas about 15 years ago. Now, about 200-300 schools across the country participate.
“I think it’s very good,” said Alana Sweets, a young entrepreneur. “I’ve made a lot of people happy, and I’ve also made a lot of people who may not buy … but may.”
They came up with a product to sell at a community business fair, hoping to make a profit while also competing for prizes.
“We want kids to understand what it’s like, what it takes to really start a business, come up with an idea, a dream, and then actually embrace and execute on it,” says Jeremy Molley, owner of Active Leadership Academy.
All of the parents’ hands were “off the deck,” Morley said. If they are caught helping their children, their money may be spent.
“In fact, if your parents walk up to the back of the booth and try to sell you something, they’re actually going to be disqualified,” Morley said.
Just two weeks after the event, one of the young entrepreneurs, Alana Sweet, decided to do it differently – from wind chimes to scented candles.
“It was a little bit stressful because I started out with a different business,” Swayze said.
Alana said the last-minute learning curve taught her a lot about owning a business. Now, 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 easier to start with, play around with the business idea. See what people like. See what your customer is like, and then really work hard,” says Sweets.
“If we get out of the way sometimes and let them do their magic and have fun, kids are going to be far more capable than we can imagine,” Morley said.
By the end of the show, Alana hopes to pay off her debts. The young entrepreneur said she had to pay her mom for all materials and supplies.
To learn more about the Active Kids Business Expo, visit the program’s website.