The Children's Business Fair - The Story So Far - Children's Business Fair

Read on for a sample of the many stories, lesson and observations emerging from the Children’s Business Fair in its first amazing year.

Start Small. Make Mistakes. Learn. Get better.

Our events run throughout the year for one key reason. We want CBF’s young entrepreneurs to persist with their ideas. Re-launching having thought critically about what went right and how to improve, is key to success.

Just ask Little Miss Moo, Morgan Makes and The Flame Fox. They’ve returned again and again with ever-slicker operations (and ever-greater profit margins!)

Start small, learn from mistakes, seek customer feedback and give it another go at any of our upcoming fairs – Guildford on April 4, Farnham on May 2 and Haslemere on May 8.


Hundreds Of Gritty, Young Entrepreneurs

CBFUK started with 18 pioneering entrepreneurs in November 2018. Seven months later, more three times the number  had launched their own businesses at the CBF.  Surrey’s young entrepreneurs are clearly on it…

Our goal? To give every young person in the UK the same authentic, real-world opportunity and find out what it’s really like to work hard, have fun and never, ever give up…

Micro Businesses Are Go!

Businesses launched have included (*deep breath*) …crafts, photography, scented candles, beauty products, baked goods, plants, smoothies, 3D printed toys, bath bombs, tie-dye T-shirts, cake pops, bookmarks, fudge, soap, cupcakes, oil infusions, wax wraps, handmade cards, toffee apples, sweets, dog biscuits, candy floss, slime, key-rings, pompoms, cupcakes, bubble tea, Xmas tree decorations, stress relievers, board games, and yes! A traditional lemonade stand or two…

Passion projects, creative solutions, and clever services – we’ve seen an extraordinary array of products launched at the CBF and can’t wait to see what future entrepreneurs create.

The Customer Is Always Right

Customers are the lifeblood of the CBF. Yes, they love the products, the entrepreneurs’ stories and are always amazed at how much the CBF entrepreneurs have achieved. And whilst we want them to spend, spend, spend, customers are also vital in providing useful direct feedback and help improve communication skills.

This is why we encourage entrepreneurs to treat the marketing their business as seriously as manufacturing their products. And boy… have they come up with creative ways to market their businesses and get those customers in! Interviews on local radio, ads in shop windows, presentations at school, emails to friends and family – even taking to the streets on the day of the fair to hustle passers-by out of their hard-earned pennies!

Never Underestimate A Young Entrepreneur…

Our youngest entrepreneur (the very determined Molly) is living proof of our belief that children are far more capable than adults give them credit. At just 7-years old when Molly launched her first business. She’d have launched aged 6 if she could, but had to wait patiently until she turned 7. The wait was worth it. Find out more about Molly here.

The Bottom Line…

So, just how much have our young entrepreneurs earned at the CBF?

Of the 60 participants declaring their figures, entrepreneurs made an average revenue of £126, bringing home a very healthy average profit margin of 47%.

Of course, some businesses were more successful in bringing home the bacon. One successful entrepreneur pulled in revenue of £490, netting a margin of 65% (£318)! However, another set of entrepreneurs impressive takings of £168 only brought in a 11% margin (£18).

The most important lesson learned? KEEP YOUR COSTS DOWN!


The Judges

With cash prizes on offer for Best Stand, Best Product and Best Sales Pitch, someone had to have the tricky task of deciding the winners.

Thankfully, the CBF has welcomed a raft of successful, grown-up entrepreneurs from the local area who agreed to give up their precious time to tour the stands and award the all-important points.

Find out more about some of the CBF judges, here and here. Want to volunteer your time too? Get in touch!

Thank you, Surrey schools!

The CBFUK has been incredibly lucky to receive endless support from Surrey schools. We’ve welcomed entrepreneurs from 32 primary and secondary, state and independent schools, concentrated in Guildford and the surrounding areas.

We’ve had great fun delivering assemblies and entrepreneurial programmes at your schools! A particularly big shout out to Chris Brinsden, Head of Business & Economics at George Abbot; Louisa Dormer, Head @ Bushy Hill Primary; Karen Marsden, Deputy Head @ Burpham Primary; Neil Lewin, Head @ St Thomas of Canterbury.

Thank you for having faith in your amazing young entrepreneurs!

Onwards and Upwards to 100%!

We’re very proud that 94% of participants are ‘likely’ or ‘very likely to’ recommend the CBF to a friend. (Figures are based on our post-fair survey that has enjoyed a 63% response rate).

Very interestingly, the 6% who didn’t get as much out of their experience all share a similar trait. Each had been observed by judges to have parents too heavily involved in their business. This lends weight to our plea for adults to step back and let young entrepreneurs really own it. Read more about our advice to parents, here.