WinterFest2020 Ontario Kidpreneurs Bazaar, organized by Ayesha Naeem, rolled out at the Milton Bible Church on January 4th as a venue for showcasing youthful entrepreneurs and their businesses.
It was easy to identify participants by their bright yellow tee-shirts emblazoned with the event logo Ontario Kidpreneurs on the front. Commerce and compassion rooted in fundraising were all the buzz as Kidpreneurs displayed their wares and welcomed visitors to their popup stores. As they took to the stage, approximately 35 youngsters received a warm welcome from audience members and parents who with phones held high, captured the group photo to mark this all-important accomplishment.
Sameera Ali, Milton Councilor, delivered opening remarks to the kids, parents , and visitors about the initiatives that each child has brought to the event, but she also spoke to the importance that commerce be combined with compassion for others near and far for a business to be truly successful.
Over 50 Kidpreneurs were on hand to show their wares and the variety of products and services were varied and showed off many talents.
Visitors and customers witnessed the enterprises of kids as young as 2 to teenagers on the cusp of adulthood. Food figured prominently at many booths as cotton candy, cupcakes, cake pops, tandoori chicken pizza, sandwiches. macarons, and baked treats beckoned show-goers. Zainab Wardak who calls herself a girlpreneur is 7 years old and pledges that 50 per cent of the proceeds of her booth will go towards feeding orphans in Afghanistan.
Ryan and Kevin DiLorenzo, co-owners of Cheer s for Dogs displayed their natural, homemade dog treats available in beef and bacon, chicken and parsley, and cheese and oatmeal as well as their second product, chocolate-covered pretzels.
Artistic pursuits were part of the show as henna art, illustrated books and cards and paper quilling cards impressed the crowd.
Junayed Malek, brand ambassador for Sargent Farms was on hand to explain why the company was motivated to be one of the sponsors for the event. “When the organizers approached us they told us about the kids and how they were fundraising for worthy causes by operating their own businesses. Also the kids are learning some important business skills like selling products and some have their own products, so it seemed that this project was worthy of support. I think it builds character and gives real life experience by determining costs, how to sell to people and how to market and at such a young age. I wish I had this experience when I was a kid. It seems like a dream platform for them.”
Mayor Gord Kranz came by to serve as the official cutter of the celebratory cake later in the afternoon, as other community, provincial and federal representatives including councilor Mike Cluett, MPP Parm Gill and MP Adam van Koeverden, took the time to tour the sales floor and learn more about the thriving micro-businesses and their enthusiastic Kidpreneurs owners. All in all, the first Saturday of 2020 well spent.