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It was a sunny day in October when I attended the Kidpreneur fair. Many tables – staffed by students – dotted a bright green lawn in south Lincoln. These young people had created goods they could sell, and were hoping to have success!

Starting your own business as a young student can mean a lot of tough decisions and major responsibility to see the job through. So, I asked a few kidpreneurs how they did it! Here’s what I learned…

Micayah is a sophomore in high school. In 2017, she started making slime in a variety of flavors (like pumpkin and apple), and even offers slime-making kits. She has advertised on Instagram and sells on Etsy, so has to balance making new products and filming. However, true to meeting her customer needs, she says, “orders come first.” She has built time management and organization skills: “Focusing on school is the first thing; then the business comes after.” Micayah plans to reinvest her earnings in the business, and is saving for a car.

Breckin is a 6th grader selling tie-dye shirts and socks. He saw another group doing it a basketball tournament and thought he could do it, too! “I used to be nervous, but now I’ve learned to talk to people and be less shy,” he says. He has had to learn problem-solving skills. “Some colors don’t mix well, like LA Lakers blue and yellow turn a brownish color.” He’s also been challenged to balance his time with the right selling price: “It takes a long time to make them – sometimes days.” Breckin has many desires for earnings: pay for basketball camp, have cash to buy gifts for others, and, of course, buy more inventory and reinvest in his business.

Paige’s table was all fall: cloth pumpkins, take & make caramel apple kits, and macarons. “We sold chap stick and dog treats the first year and did pretty well. The second year of the fair I sold products made out of recycling. But this year the fair was in the autumn, and I snagged (fall season) ideas from my cousin.” This 7th grader’s greatest challenges have been figuring out what people want to buy, then buying inventory at an affordable price to make a profit. “Recycling was nice because it was free inventory, but it took me a lot of time to actually create the things I was selling.” Paige plans to save some of her earnings, and use some to care for her 4-H horse.

Pixie’s mom has her own business to make baby onesies and masks, so 6th grader Pixie learned how to make hair scrunchies and sell them alongside her mom’s business. They’ll split the cost of a craft fair space, and oftentimes, Pixie will make matching bows for her mom’s onesie orders. “My first scrunchie was pretty bad, but now I’ve mastered it – from seams to how they’re presented to the buyer. “Pixie’s concentration and focus skills have increased as she has grown her hair accessory options. She hopes to get someone to design a logo – in time for printing a new business card.

These young entrepreneurs have some great responsibility and tenacity in creating their businesses. What’s your skill, or what do you have an interest in? While these students sold products, there is also opportunity in providing services, like raking leaves, walking dogs, shoveling snow, and babysitting!