In 2017, Orange County Library System unveiled a new series of camps called “BizKids” which teach entrepreneurship and business skills to youth. The camps provide students with opportunities to develop a business idea, run a storefront and learn office software. Combining these creative skills with the business skills needed to plan, finance, market and sell products, empower youth to become entrepreneurs.
On November 11, 2018, Orlando Public Library presented the Orlando Children’s Business Fair, a one-day marketplace to provide a platform for BizKids students to launch their businesses, promote their services or products and build marketing strategies. More than 50 businesses owned by kids ages 6–14 were featured at the fair and close to 800 attendees participated in the event, purchasing products from young vendors who sold artwork, soap, LEGO cars, baked goods, photographic services, handicrafts and more.
We believe that this is the first youth business fair held at a public library in the country. One aspect that makes the Orlando Children’s Business Fair unique is that it is complemented by business classes and camps that are free for residents of Orange County with a library card. These classes are enhanced by classes in fiber arts (sewing, finger knitting), Fab Lab (laser cutting, circuitry, woodworking, 3D printing), arts and crafts and culinary arts which are part of the growing maker / DIY movement.
The library seeks to build upon the success of these programs by introducing the “BizKids Club” in Spring 2020! The club, geared towards middle school-aged youth, consists of nine courses on entrepreneurship and business and will include mentorship and nutritious meals. This project is made possible by a generous grant from The Orange County Citizens’ Commission for Children (CCC), a Division of the Orange County Family Services Department.
ORLANDO CHILDREN’S BUSINESS FAIR
Orlando Public Library
Sunday, November 17, 2–5 p.m.
What do Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and an Orange County third grader have in common? They are all entrepreneurs who innovate and serve their communities. Join us for the Orlando Children’s Business Fair and together we can invest in the success of the next generation of entrepreneurs. The fair is a one-day marketplace where children will debut their innovative inventions, market their services or products, and build marketing strategies. For more information or to register, visit ocls.info/ocbf. Registration ends Saturday, October 19.