OMAHA, Ne (KPTM) — Whether they were selling wacky toys or tasty treats dozens of kids got the chance to show off their salesmanship at the Omaha Children’s Business Fair. Sunday afternoon approximately 70 kids between the ages of five and 16 set up their own businesses to create a mini market inside the Omaha Design Center. The young entrepreneurs sold everything from bouncy ball soap and homemade hand warmers, to puppy treats and Harry Potter wands.
Rachel Benson, founder of the Acton Academy and the Omaha Children’s Business Fair, said running a small business lets kids gain personal skills beyond making money.
“Entrepreneurship, a lot of times people think it’s about having a business and really it’s way more than that, especially at this age. It’s really a chance for them to start to discovering who they are,” Benson said. They have a business, and it’s awesome. They’re going to make some money, but even more important than that is them taking those steps and learning how to learn; learning how to do; learning how to step out and having the skills of having a project and putting it all together.”
Benson said each participate crafted their own business model, made their own products and then had the chance to sell it at the fair. Benson said fair sponsors also gifted each participant with five “fair bucks” to let the kids shop at their friends booths.
“They actually get to go and shop at the other kids businesses, so they can be inspired and see that we are a part of this together. It’s a growth journey that we are on, it’s not just a competition,” Benson said.
Nine-year-old Titus Dmyterko said he has been managing his business Melted Creations By Titus for about a year. The business specializes in handmade candies that look like melted snowmen and other holiday treats.
“How it started, one day when we were in the car my mom asked me ‘do you want to help a business or do a business?’ I was like ‘do a business, obviously,” Titus said.
Sherry Dmyterko-Tramp, Titus’ mother, said the candy business has helped him understand how to manage money and how a real business works.
“When we help, he pays us to help. To teach him that you don’t just get stuff for free. Even though we are family, he still pays us or helps us do other things to make up for it,”Dmyterko-Tramp said.
Titus said with the right attitude, anyone can have a successful business of their own.
“Always be kind, don’t be impatient and always have good candy,” Titus said.
Titus said he wants to use his business to give back, so he donates about 10 percent of his sales to his church youth group.
The Acton Academy will host the next Children’s Business Fair in spring 2020. You can find a full list of upcoming fairs here.
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