Children’s Entrepreneur Market encourages young entrepreneurs

Jun 26, 2023, 5:05 PM | Updated: Jul 3, 2023, 12:31 pm

HERRIMAN, Utah — Booths selling everything from lemonade to Pokémon cards lined Butterfield Park in Herriman on Friday night.

The smell of freshly fried donuts filled the air, and shouts of free samples of salsa drew large crowds, but what makes this market unique are those running it. Each booth is run entirely by kids.

This is the Children’s Entrepreneur Market. Lynée Fife, the director, said they have been operating these markets in Utah since a unique law was passed in 2017.

“In 2017, Utah actually passed a law that prohibits cities from requiring minors to have a permit or license to run a business. And so we started these markets so that they would have this hands on experience with real customers and real money when the risk was low,” Fife said.

Children take center stage at this market as parents are asked to stay on the sidelines.

“One of our biggest rules is that the kids have to do all of the work themselves. Of course, a parent can assist their child, but they don’t interact directly with the customers,” Fife explained.

Whitney from West Jordan watched her children from the back of the booth as her son sold pet rocks and her daughter sold homemade candles.

“They are little entrepreneurs at heart. My daughter, when she was a little girl, decided that when she grew up, she just wanted to have a stand. And when we found out about this Children’s Entrepreneur Market, we knew that this was a great next step for them to pursue their dreams. So we decided to get on board and come join in the fun,” Whitney said.

Whitney’s daughter selling her homemade candles at the market. (Aubrey Shafer/KSL TV)

And her daughter was having a great time.

“It’s pretty fun, especially how we’re all selling different things and how we attract different types of people,” Whitney’s daughter said, as she proudly marketed her candles.

She was hoping all her hard work would pay off.

“Fingers crossed that I sell out because I worked really hard on these, and I just really hope I do. But if not, oh well!” she expressed with a large smile.

The joy is palpable. A few booths down, Noah was able to sell a 3-D printed octopus he made, and running to his mom, exclaimed, “Mom! I made 8 dollars!”

One of the children selling Pokémon cards. (Aubrey Shafer/KSL TV)

Fife loves seeing kids succeed and learn important lessons in business.

“They figure out how to kind of make their mark in the world and talk to adults and they come away feeling confident and satisfied after they have this experience,” she said. “It’s really incredible to witness. They take their businesses very seriously. You may come and think, oh, they are all going to be lemonade stands, but the variety of products is really ingenious: homemade jewelry, scrunchies, artwork, 3D printed art. They really take a lot of time and put thought into their products.”

Fife hopes the items purchased will be treasured, but even more than that, she hopes the participants will treasure their memories made and lessons learned.

In 2023, the Children’s Entrepreneur Market expanded into six new states and continues to grow. There are ten more markets left this summer across Utah.

Registration opens again on July 1. You can find more information on their website.

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Children’s Entrepreneur Market encourages young entrepreneurs