Kidpreneurs at Work: The Arizona Children’s Business Fair

Every year, the Arizona Children’s Business Fair takes over downtown Phoenix. Strewn with nearly 150 booths, the Arizona Center is temporarily the place to be for young entrepreneurs – or Kidpreneurs – of all backgrounds, who have three hours to sell products they’ve made themselves or with friends or parents.

The Arizona Children’s Business Fair aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in children and teens. Participants sell a variety of goods at the fair, including pins and magnets, handmade pet toys, tie-dye shirts, and more. A common theme at the 2016 fair was cupcakes: and why not? Overhead is low, they’re fun to decorate, and no one can refuse a good cupcake.

Michaela Murray, a second-year Arizona Children’s Business Fair participant, prefers to make longer-lasting products. Michaela started Pear 3D Printing last year by renting a printer from her father, who’s an entrepreneur himself. 3D printers can produce nearly anything – including sugary confections – but Michaela wanted to stick to products that were both useful and convenient. Annoyed all too often by her earbuds’ constant tangles, she began printing headphone holders . . . then iPhone cases, smartphone stands, personalized keychains, and more.

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Lindsey Duran’s and Zoe Hill’s small business, Joyous Jars, combines creativity and charity. Lindsey and Zoe attend a local middle school whose special needs classroom is in serious need of a new microwave – according to their posters at the event, the classroom’s existing microwave is known to start fires! In an attempt to raise $120 to purchase a new microwave for their school, Lindsey and Zoe started Joyous Jars, where they sell cookie mixes in adorably-decorated jars.

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Samuel and Isaac are brothers who share an entrepreneurial mind. The pair produces modern and minimalist plant pots by pouring liquid concrete into Solo cups and pushing smaller cups into the concrete to create hollow vessel for the plants. Then, when the concrete dries (about twelve hours later), the brothers peel off the Solo cups and have a stylish yet functional product. Samuel and Isaac sold their handmade pots with miniature succulents at the fair, but they mentioned receiving significant interest in their products on social media. They’re thinking about starting a website and experimenting with similar types of products.

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They may be young, but these kids are already on track to becoming ambitious innovators and entrepreneurs.

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