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Santee fair expected to highlight children’s business savvy

Santee’s Momentum Tutoring, the Kiwanis Club of Santee, and the Santee Chamber of Commerce have gathered forces to hold Santee’s inaugural Santee Children’s Business Fair on Aug. 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Hills High School gymnasium, which is also an official Cool Zone.

Momentum Tutoring Founding Director Terri Bozhor said she originally found the idea from the Acton Children’s Business Fair, which has held these children’s business fairs in 477 cities in 21 countries. She said the Acton fair started with parents holding it in their backyard and it grew exponentially from there.

“I applied after I saw my niece had participated in the program in Morgan Hill, California,” she said. “I called and asked how it got up and they said the city put it together. We looked it up and applied. It is a process to see if you want to be a host. I knew I wanted to do it and I became a collaborative partner with the Kiwanis in Santee. The upcoming president AJ Tota just loved the idea.”

Bozhor said they did an audition video with three students from Momentum’s GTS Leadership Club (Gifted, Talented and Strong), Tota, and herself at Carlton Oaks School, sent it in and received approval for the fair the next day. Once approved, they met with Santee Chamber of Commerce CEO Kristen Dare who loved the idea and wants this to be a program that continues.

“They send you all the framework to hold the Children’s Business Fair in your community,” she said, adding that the event could be small, a community fair, and they decided to go “big” and make it a citywide event. “We have 49 youth businesses signed up to participate, which is still have kids on the waiting list waiting to get in.”

Bozhor said Acton made it simple on how to get the youth to sign up, with them able to sign up via website.

“We put out an advertisement that we were seeking children that have a business idea. This is for youth 5 to 17 years old. They had to come up with a business idea, develop a brand, provide a product or service, build a market strategy, and then be able to open this one-day kids popup shop,” she said. “You would be amazed. We got an excellent response from kids 5 to 9 years old. The same number of kids registered from ages 10 to 11, and the next category is 12 and up. We have about 15 kids in each category.”

Bozhor said it works out for judging as they will give out recognitions and having judges from community members from the Santee Chamber and its board, and possibly some City leaders.

“I really have faith in this,” she said. “And I followed some other parents. It is amazing. They have them in Africa and everywhere. I am a big believer in kids. Some say they are not old enough to start a business until they are in high school, and the kids proved me wrong with the interests in what they are doing. We have lots of jewelry, candles, soaps, tie dies, but we also have original ideas like walking sticks, aqua skates, personalized art. I cannot wait to see what this looks like in person.”

Bozhor said West Hills has a huge gymnasium.

“They are doing an amazing job,” she said. “Principal April Baker has coordinated with us. They are providing the youth businesses with tables and chairs. The City of Santee made sure that we were all good on permits so that all the young entrepreneurs have a one-day business license.”

Bozhor said she knew that this fair could be a success through the K-12 Community
Grant received last year.

“This is like Momentum’s, Santee’s grand finale from that grant they provided the city,” she said.

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