Age doesn’t equal success, and no one knows that more than the 23 young entrepreneurs who took part in Caroline’s Promise Young Entrepreneurs Expo on Nov. 16 at the Caroline County Community Center.
The youngsters showcasing their products at the expo proved they don’t need a driver’s license or high school diploma to transform their ideas into thriving businesses.
The program introduces young entrepreneurs to the basics of creating and financing a successful business. After the event, students had an opportunity to open a savings account on-site with South State Bank.
“This is the second year for this event and it has been a huge success,” said Caroline’s Promise Executive Director Shermeka Baker–Latney. “We almost doubled the number of entrepreneurs over last year. Some came from Chesterfield County and Hanover County that found us through our social media page and wanted to participate.”
Aubrey Serbay was the youngest entrepreneur at the expo. The 6-year-old had to sit on her knees to reach the calculator she was using to add up the sales for her body scrub business, Little Lady Scrubs. Aubrey’s parents, Brandon and Erica Serbay, helped her design the packaging, logo, and the recipe for the sweet-smelling body scrubs.
At the table beside Aubrey was her 10-year-old sister, Avery, also a young entrepreneur, who was selling something fun, colorful and wiggly. Avery makes organic slime and calls her business Simply Slimetastic.
Throughout the community center, youngsters had put serious thought and work into their businesses. Down the row of tables, there was an enticing aroma coming from plates of lasagna by Dis N Dat Catering.
There were also Oreo pops, truffle pops and a variety of handmade cupcakes available from the bakers of MKK’s Treat.
Baker–Latney said the event gives kids a chance to exercise their gifts and talents.
“Two of the ‘new bosses’ sold out of their merchandise and made client leads for orders,” she said.
Little Victories business owner Victory Kemp, 10, of Ruther Glen, was selling out of her creative coasters and wooden ornaments and taking orders for more. She used the phrase “Sweet Caroline” on her products, which is popular for county residents.
Last year, she made $122 that she saved. She plans to put it with this year’s money and donate it to her cousin Brooke Kemp, who has been diagnosed with leukemia.
“I’m so proud of every kid here,” said Baker–Latney. “Our brains are idea machines, but only a few of us go ahead to make these ideas big.”