From Lemonade Stands to Entrepreneurs
By Snigdha Joshi | Posted July 6, 2023
Summer lemonade stands have been a core memory for generations. In Montgomery Township, the concept has expanded to the selling of micro-greens, natural bath products, bird houses, mango lassis, and a young entrepreneur who wrote, illustrated, and published a book for sale.
Rhythm Panchal and Vansh Bali of Craft Cave, selling customized bracelets, mini jewelry boxes, and mango lassis.
There is truly no limit, according to Ekta Sheth and Shruti Patel, both residents of Belle Mead. They are the proud organizers of the Kidz Business Fair in Montgomery. This year, the fair will be held at Iron Peak in Hillsborough on Sunday, August 13 from 11 am to 2 pm. Children ages seven to 14 may submit an application at childrensbusinessfair.org/bellemead-nj by July 15 to be included in the fair. If selected, the young entrepreneurs will be given 10-by-10- foot booths to set up their shops.
Scarlet and Cadence Schuster selling bird feeders.
On the day of the fair, high school students will be volunteering to help the fair run smoothly. Awards will be given to young entrepreneurs in various categories. The organizers hope to harness the entrepreneurial spirit of kids and give them a space to explore it. Sheth and Patel are the proud mothers of daughters who actually sold lemonade and cookies at a neighborhood stand.
The stand was such a big hit that other neighborhood kids came to their doors asking if they could help the lemonade stand by bringing their own snacks to sell. Soon, Sheth says she realized the importance of “igniting the fire” of the children’s interests. Within a month, she organized a small community fair that became the first Kidz Business Fair in the summer of 2021. There were 30 to 40 booths each staffed with two or three kids, ages 5 to 17. Next, the moms recruited judges, mainly adults from the community, to distribute awards among the children.
Article continues after ad from our sponsor.
The success of this business fair inspired the moms to organize a similar but more refined fair the following year. In the summer of 2022, the fair was held at Kiddie Academy in Hillsborough. The academy also helped sponsor the fair. Judges from different educational and cultural backgrounds were recruited, and many kids returned. They could be seen improving upon the previous years’ products. Some simply scrapped their old products after noticing what was selling, and what was not. Just like before, this fair too was a huge success and generated more than $5,000 in revenue, which the kids were able to decide what to do with it.
Ayaan Patel selling greeting cards and gift bags.
The success of the past two fairs convinced members of the community to turn this into something bigger— a non-profit organization called Unity Community Events (UCE). The goal of UCE is to provide an avenue for young entrepreneurs to grow their creative spirit, gain confidence, and learn life lessons. As planning began, Patel submitted an application to the Acton Children’s Business Fair and they agreed to mentor and sponsor the Kidz Business Fair of Montgomery. The Acton Children’s Business Fair provides a platform and resources to carry out fairs similar to this around the country. UCE hopes to find more sponsors so they could raise money to provide more awards to the students.