Young Entrepreneurs offer shopping alternative

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Craft fairs and shows are taking place everywhere this time of year, but the Young Americans Young Entrepreneurs market shines a spotlight on young people creating their own businesses.

The annual market, featuring the businesses of more than 100 young entrepreneurs, will take place at the Belmar Young Americans facility, 401 S. Pierce St., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14.

“This is a way to encourage young people, ages 6 to 21 years old, to get into business and entrepreneurship,” said Maura McInerney, Young Entrepreneur coordinator. “This is one of several programs we do to help kids with this.”

Participants in the market will receive some help from Young Americans staff setting up their booths and setting up sales tax, but the execution and business planning are all up to them.

“Young Americans started with teaching personal financial literacy, and we also wanted to spark an interest in business,” McInerney said. “We help with space and teaching about operations, but it’s the participants who look at their own profit goals, expenses and goals for the day.”

Items that will be on sale at the market include hand-carved cutting boards, greeting cards, homemade food items and bracelets. Everything sold is created by the business owners.

McInerney said some of the children participating are basing their businesses on experiences they’ve had in their lives. For instance, if a child has had experience in their family with cancer, the money they earn may go to cancer research.

“These events get a lot of community support because people realize how important it is to support the kids in this,” McInerney said. “The kids’ ability to provide customer service is great, and this is such a positive, supportive environment.”

Both marketplaces are free for the public to attend and have nearby free parking.

For more information contact McInerney at 303-321-2265 or by email at mmcinerney@yacenter.org.