Triangle Children’s Business Fair, Aug 18

Park West Village, Morrisville, NC – The 3rd Annual Triangle Children’s Business Fair is returning to Park West Village in Morrisville on Saturday, August 18, 2018.  It’s a chance for kids to the see and experience the possibilities of entrepreneurship.

It Started with a Texas Oilman

Jeff Sandefer had made half a billion dollars by the time he was thirty. He started by painting water towers and ended up developing oilfields. For the last thirty years, he’s been educating about entrepreneurship, first at the University of Texas and then as a founder of Acton School of Business and MBA program. He and his wife also started a one-room school house for the 21st century called Acton Academy that now has 100 branches around the world, including two in Durham, NC.

Building the Next Steve Jobs

As an offshoot of the school, the Children’s Business Fair developed as a place for kids to showcase their ideas and get experience selling things. The one in Austin, TX is still held on Jeff Sandefer’s front lawn.

There are now dozens and dozens of Children’s Business Fairs across the U.S. and fairs in Africa, Latin America, India and Australia.

The Triangle Children’s Business Fair will be at Park West Village in Morrisville this Saturday, August 18, 2018 from 10 AM to 1 PM.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower – Steve Jobs



Made by Children. For Sale at the Fair.

Young entrepreneurs, aged 6-14, apply to be part of the Fair and come up with product ideas, marketing plans, accounting systems and other real-world business functions.  At the fair, each participant gets a booth and a table and sells their product or service to fair attendees. At the end, young entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply analytical tools to determine if their business was a success.

The rules are strict: this is a business fair for and by kids:

  • This event is designed to give children the experience of selling a product or service. If a parent is found selling or promoting a child’s product or service, their child’s business will be disqualified from the competition.
  • Parents of younger children may sit in the booth, but the children should be responsible for set up, customer interaction, and sales.
  • Parents may help their child fill out the application, but it’s expected that the children do as much as possible by themselves.



It Takes a Village

“Our first Triangle Children’s Business Fair was in 2016,” said Conner Dixon of Casto, property managers of Park West Village. “Monica Goodson, a mom from Apex, wanted to give her son a chance to get some entrepreneurial experience and showed us a video of the Acton Children’s Business Fair. We instantly knew we wanted to do it at Park West.”

“Our first event had 50 tents and about 75 kids,” Dixon continued. “They were selling 3D printed key chains, apps, books, hand-painted golf balls. We were floored by their capacity to run a business and talk to customers.”

“These kids had elevator pitches. They’re 6 and 7 years old.”

In 2017, the second Triangle CBF at Park West had 75 tents and over 100 kids participating. “The place was packed. Many of the kids sold out their products in less than 3 hours,” said Dixon.

“It’s crazy how much our tenants at Park West respond to this event and want to be involved,” Dixon added. “It just grows exponentially every year.”

I asked Dixon about her plans for the future. “One thing we have at Park West is plenty of space,” she said. “Who knows where it will be in five years.”


Event Details

Triangle Children’s Business Fair
Saturday, August 18, 2018
10 AM – 1 PM

Park West Village
intersection of Cary Parkway and Chapel Hill Road
Morrisville, NC
Triangle Children’s Business Fair


Story by Hal Goodtree. Pictures courtesy of Triangle Children’s Business Fair. Young entrepreneurship coverage on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Park West Village in Morrisville.