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Kids showcase their business skills at entrepreneur fair

Photo by Jessica Gelb

Dog treats, jewelry, and professional cutting boards were just some of the items up for sale inside of the Marblehead Community Charter Public School’s gymnasium Sunday as part of its first ever children’s entrepreneur fair. 

The event, sponsored by Acton Children’s Business Fair, consisted of 50 kid-vendors ranging in age from six years old to 16 years old. Marblehead Community Charter Board of Trustees member Jessica Gelb, who helped put on the event, said they got the idea after they saw the Acton Children’s Business Fair put on an event in Hamilton-Wenham High School and wanted to bring one into town.

“It was really kind of a different way to highlight what kids can do,” she said. “The stuff was really professional. You didn’t come and see random things. The kids worked really hard on their booths. I think they were really invested in the process and were really proud of what they created.”

The event lasted for three hours, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. In order to get their businesses into the fair, Gelb said, the kids had to go through an application process that involved filling out forms, talking about their business and business plan, and imitating the process of registering and starting a business. 

During the fair, the kids set up their booths and marketed to those in attendance that they were open for business and ready to sell their products. Throughout the event, Gelb said that the kids learned valuable skills and lessons when it comes to starting and running a business.

“They were very engaged. They learned how to sell their business. They learned how to communicate with adults and kids,” said Gelb. “They learned the process of ‘Well how much am I investing in my business?’ and ‘How much profit am I making?’ and ‘What if I need to pay back my parents?’”

In addition, kids learned how to make change, and were required to make a poster that highlighted their business. Along with the items already mentioned, other products up for sale from the businesses included paint canvases, sea-glass pictures, bookmarks, boba tea, small toys and trinkets, makeup, and even heating pads.

“The kids were really clever, they were really thoughtful and had their products ready to go,” Gelb said. 

Kids from the Charter, Veterans, and Village schools participated in the fair, as well as some from Tower School. In addition to kids in town, many from outside of Marblehead attended, including kids from Swampscott and even a family who drove down from Salem, N.H. 

The event was very successful, Gelb said, and she hopes to have the fair become an annual event so kids can continue to learn about operating their own businesses. 

“The hope is that it will be an annual event. There was so much interest,” she said.