For the first time, aspiring entrepreneurs aged seven to 16 will have the chance to sell their wares at an event tailor made for them: Heritage International Leadership Academy (HILA) Children’s Business Fair on April 11, 2020.
As the March 6, 2020 deadline to register approaches, HILA’s active Parent-Teacher’s Association (PTA), said the daylong Children’s Business Fair will fuel Liberian student’s entrepreneurial acumen by giving them the opportunity to sell their creations and gain business knowledge. The HILA’s PTA believes that the on-the-job experience combined with the required in-class training on budgeting and price offering, product development, and marketing will give them a good business foundation.
“In addition,” said HILA Founder and CEO, Michelle Wento, “Educating young people about entrepreneurship, prepares them for the future job market, teaches them important life skills, like self-confidence, creativity, resilience, goal setting, and empathy. “Practicalising entrepreneurship,” she added, “gives students a better understanding of money and how to make it.” Mrs. Wento encourages parents to take a “hands-off” approach so their young business impresarios may fully experience what it means to be in business.
HILA seventh grader, 11 year-old Rajon Akinseye said that when his Citizen, Governance and Leadership (CIGOL) Program teacher and Vice President of Public Affairs, Mrs. Lovetta Bailey Sendolo, told him that even young people could become millionaires and earn a living, he became inspired. This future millionaire, chef and restaurateur said he opened a business called “Fresh Juice for You,” and plans to feature his 100% organic pineapple juice during HILA” Children’s Business Fair.
He first discovered the specially made pineapple juice after tasting it at home. He decided to sell the drink after a taste testing with friends yielded positive results. “I think it’s a good idea for people to drink healthy things,” Mr. Akinseye said.
During his first foray into the fresh juice making business, the young Akinseye said he spent $10 on materials and made a $5 profit after selling his juice at $1 a cup. “Making that profit,” he added, ”really felt good.” Now, he’s preparing to reinvest the earnings and make a $30 profit at HILA’s upcoming Fair.
Other activities taking place at the Children’s Business Fair include an Easter Egg Hunt, live music, games, prizes, raffles, and food sales.
A release disclosed that Young entrepreneurs who showcase the best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) product or service, the best presentation, the best business ideas, and the most innovative product will be awarded prizes.
Believing in entrepreneurship and in HILA, Cook Shop, the food delivery service, is now a proud sponsor of the Children’s Business Fair.
While the Fair showcases young people’s innovations, the event is also a school fundraiser. HILA seeks to raise over $18,000 for its programs. The Head of the Fundraising Committee of the HILA Parent-Teacher Association, Ellen O. Pratt, said that the funds raised from sponsors would go towards enrichment programs to increase STEM and life skills programs. The funds will also help to provide disadvantaged children within the Sophie Community with books, stationary supplies and scholarship programs.
“We, at HILA, believe and advocate for a spirit of service, so our fundraisers are designed to not only provide support to the school but empower the community within which the school resides,” said Ms. Pratt.
Heritage International Leadership Academy was founded in 2019 to provide exceptional education for children from kindergarten through 9th grade and instills in them academic excellence, self-reliance, collaboration, kindness and critical thinking skills.
Heritage International Leadership Academy strives to put parents “at the heart of its design” and students “at the “core of its curriculum.” In that way, the private school offers a unique diversified program that meets internationally recognized standards.
Meanwhile, Interested students from public or private schools can register on-line at www.hilalib.org/bizfair or deliver their applications to the HILA campus, located at B676 Old Sophie Road in Congo Town. The application fee is $20.