Organization: Acton Academy Foundation
Country: United States
Project Name: Acton Children’s Business Fair: Entrepreneurship Mini Quest Curriculum
Empowerment of Individuals ✓
Teaching Freedom ✓
Research shows that Americans have become more risk-adverse, less adventurous, more static, and less entrepreneurial. The share of Americans under 30 who own a business has fallen 65 percent since the 1980s. This decline in entrepreneurship in America is a troubling sign. The Acton Children’s Business Fair is reigniting the entrepreneurial spirit in the United States by inspiring children to develop a taste for entrepreneurship at a very young age. Moreover, it showcases the power of entrepreneurship for tens of thousands of visitors worldwide. Since the Acton Children’s Business Fair was started in 2007, it has grown to 455 fairs around the world, serving 23,022 young entrepreneurs in 206 cities and 12 countries.
The Acton Children’s Business Fair of Washington, D.C. is a one-day showcase of the power of entrepreneurship for children. Children ages 6-14 create a business, sell to real customers, and keep the profits. Organizers provide outdoor tents and tables. Along the way children learn about entrepreneurship, but more importantly, about themselves and their character. Over the past four years, the Acton Children’s Business Fair of Washington, D.C. has grown to become the largest one-day children’s entrepreneurship event in the world, hosting around 125 young entrepreneurs who serve over 3,000 customers each year.
To further deepen children’s entrepreneurial understanding, Acton Academy is developing a new prototype curriculum – an Entrepreneurship Mini-Quest. It will guide children in a four-week series of fun challenges that help them create a business for the Acton Children’s Business Fair, sell to real customers, connect their activity to larger principles of entrepreneurship, and reflect on lessons learned.
With entrepreneurship on the decline in the United States, this project inspires and empowers children to view themselves as active protagonists instead of passive participants. By convincing children that problems are best solved by private individuals engaging in peaceful, voluntary transactions, the Acton Children’s Business Fair cultivates a mindset shift that will make bureaucratic top-down solutions to social problems unattractive for these students in the future. As children participate in an open market, selling their goods to customers, they are forced to make difficult decisions, engage in peaceful and voluntary transactions, and fail or succeed on their own. Through this, children learn that they have the power to write their own story and that they are free persons with creative capacity.