We started off with a goal for our children to learn something about entrepreneurship. We started six years ago with ten booths. We bandied about all sorts of names until our six year old son said: “why don’t you just call it what it is — a Children’s Business Fair.” And the name stuck. The next year we had twenty booths; the third year participation doubled again. And yet again in the fourth. With no carefully drafted curriculum and very little effort on our part, children worked for months on their businesses and learned life changing lessons from experiencing the power of freedom and free markets firsthand.
There have been children like Reese, who last year made $26,000 selling her artwork and signed two retail accounts. Then there's Mikela. She got her start at the CBF at age four. Three years later she appeared on the national TV show Shark Tank and was challenged by a Shark: “If you were really committed to your business, you’d quit school.” Her reply? “I’ve been CEO of my business for over half of my life. How many of your CEO’s are that committed?” with that answer, Mikela raised $360,000 to fund her national expansion, building on her past successes with Whole Foods in the Southwest.
We began offering a kit to entrepreneurial parents outside of Austin, many of whom are a part of Texans First.
This year, we expect to have 50 different fairs nationwide, about 5,000 youth and 15,000 visitors.
The "evaluate-prototype-launch"-format in Texans First has been a huge part of the success with Children's Business Fair.
The Texans First community has also helped us find parents and activists across Texas who want to help us reach thousands of young heroes so they too can experience the joy of making something with their own hands, selling it for more than it cost to make, and having some spending money left over. Texas now has a generation of budding entrepreneurs.