Event Recap: Youth Business Fair
Mary Seslar, Marketing Coordinator
“The Youth Business Fair was a great event. The elementary school aged kids that I had an opportunity to interact with are clearly future entrepreneurs and leaders in our community. From coming up with inventive business ideas and developing plans, the students were completely invested in their projects. Many knew and quoted their production costs and compared it to their profit margin. Truly astounding for 8- through 11-year-olds.
One thing is clear, many of these ideas came from the interests that these young men and women have. It’s a great example of the old expression that if you “do what you love and you’ll never have to work another day in your life” said one of the judges, Zachary Burch.
The Greater Naples Chamber’s Youth Business Fair (formerly known as the Naples Children's Business Fair) offers the opportunity for young entrepreneurs, grades K-12, to showcase and sell their products or service to the public. Working with the Chamber, children learn free-market principles, how the workforce drives the local economy, and are able to relish in the rewards of their hard work.
Proceeds benefit the Leadership Collier Foundation in support of work-based learning programs for local students.
The results are as follows:
• 1st – The Art of Vinyl (Taralyn Thomas)
• 2nd – Cadence Collection (Cadence Castaneda)
• 3rd – SOL Designs (Sawyer, Olivia, and Mary Graham and Lyla Martin)
• 1st – Fine Art by Nicole Marie (Nicole Collett)
• 2nd – John’s Wood Working Company (John Disser)
• 3rd – Ella’s Eclectics (Ella Eastman)
• 1st – All Aces Arts and Crafts (Victoria “Ace” Law)
• 2nd – Candle Land (Sam Strong, Sarah DeSear, and Dakota Anderson)
• 3rd – Harmony Gifts (Samantha Fulcher)
High School Pitch Competition
• Snap Secure (Anabel Trejo and Estefany Castaneda-Bartolo)
• Most Original Idea: John’s Wood Working Company (John Disser)
• Most Business Potential: A Breath of Fresh Air (Tehya Miller)
• Most Creative Presentation: Tie-Dye Sisters (Hannah Simon and Aria Diorio)
• John’s Wood Working Company (John Disser)
• Line and Sinker Signs (Trevor Merriam)
Danielle O’Conner, Director of Talent Initiatives at the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, said “seeing the amount of time, thought, and energy each kid put into their product and presentation had me in awe. All I can say is, I’m glad I didn’t have to be one of our judges, because it would have been tough to choose a winner.”
With over fifty-four booths total, six teams presenting in the Business Pitch Competition for High School students, three hundred and sixty-three members of the public coming out to show their support, and an unprecedented two Sunshine Award Winners by Michael Wynn of Ace Hardware, the 2023 Naples Youth Business Fair was surely one to remember.
Thank you again to all our volunteers and our sponsors; Sunshine Ace Hardware, Barron Collier Companies, The Players Club and Spa, Lipman Family Farms, MidFlorida Credit Union, Neapolitan Family Magazine, Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Jan and Kim Kantor, Tim Gibbons Photography, 4imprint, Publix, and a special thank you to our partners in this event, Collier County Public Schools.
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