Once again this year, the Children’s Entrepreneurship Fair in downtown Brighton was an unqualified success. It was the fourth annual such event, held in the State Bank parking lot, near city hall. Nearly 200 children in grades kindergarten through 8th launched 158 new businesses - double the size of last year. Some 14 local businesses contributed to help make the event a success.

The imagination of the children in developing novel ideas knew no bounds as they came up with everything to sell, from slime to handmade chocolate lollipops to fiddle music. Leading up to the event, fair organizer and director Scott Taylor emailed participants a series of "family challenges" that helped them develop their business skills.

This year, the six challenges included "find your passion", "vetting your business ideas", "how to write a world class press release", "the secrets of success", "the inventory dilemma" and "a hero's mindset". One of the young entrepreneurs was Madison Buda of Genoa Township, a third grader at Hornung Elementary School in Brighton, who sold handmade chocolate lollipops and other chocolate items. Madison's mother, Colleen, says her daughter did a lot more than merely show up and set up her booth.

Mother and daughter went to Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, where a friend is employed, to watch the chocolate-making operation frst-hand, and then to Eastern Market in Detroit, where the friend has a side job selling her homemade chocolate candy. Although mom helped Madison make the chocolate at home, the 8-year-old did the bulk of the work. She sold out of her chocolate products and Colleen Buda says she may put the proceeds away toward a college education.

Those who would like to be notified when next year's fair is announced can go to KidFair.biz and add themselves to the announcement list. (TT) Photo credit: Scott Taylor