Six steps to launch!


Apply via the GCBF website.


Once you’ve applied, we’ll send you a starter pack. Use this to create a simple business plan. Teach yourself about revenue, costs and profit. Understand how to estimate how much money your business will make.

Around 4-5 weeks before the fair, we’ll tell you if your application has been successful. Time to get busy!


Come up with a catchy name, create your brand and plan what your stand will look like. And, of course, get busy making your product!


Think carefully about who will come to the fair. How many people will you tell about your business and how will you persuade them to come to the fair? What will you do to attract customers to your booth? How are you going to convince them to buy your products?


It’s the day of the fair – gather up your products, your decorations and your team. Set up your stand and get ready for your first sale!


Guest judges award cash prizes for Best Sales Pitch, Best Product, Best Stand and Judges’ Choice.


What is the Children’s Business Fair?

The Children’s Business Fair is a one-day marketplace that gives young entrepreneurs (7-17) the opportunity to launch businesses, sell in an authentic environment and earn their own money.

Apply Now
When and where will it be held?

Summer CBFs

Guildford Children’s Business Fair
Saturday, 23rd July 2022
High St, Guildford

Xmas CBFs

Guildford Children’s Business Fair
Saturday, 19th November 2022
Holy Trinity Church, High St, Guildford

Orpington Children’s Business Fair
Saturday, 20th November 2022
High St, Orpington (during Xmas lights switch on)

Farnham Children’s Business Fair
Saturday, 3rd December 2022
Farnham Maltings

Who can participate?

Entrepreneurs aged 7 to 17 on the date of the business fair can participate.

How does it work?

1) First submit your application. When selecting businesses to participate in the business fair, we look for:

a. Complete applications with all questions answered.
b. Evidence that the application and the business are the work of the child and not the adult—we don’t expect polished applications!
c. Plans by the young entrepreneur to pay back any loans/financial assistance he/she may receive.

2) Applicants will receive a welcome pack.

3) After our launch session (approx 4-5 weeks before the fair), applicants will receive an email telling them whether their application has been accepted.

4) On acceptance, we take payment for the stand.

5) Once accepted, and having completed their research, entrepreneurs plan their business, design and build their product/service and get marketing.

6) On the day of the fair, set up your stall and start selling to real customers.

When do applications close?

Xmas 2022 applications close:

22nd October 2022 – Guildford / Orpington

4th November 2022 – Farnham

Where will I be selling?

The Guildford event (Nov 19th) will be held in the Holy Trinity Church, High Street, Guildford.
(You will be provided with a 4ft table and two chairs.)

The Orpington event (July 16th) will be held at the Orpington Christmas Lights Switch On – on Orpington High Street.
(You will be provided with a 6ft table and two chairs.)

The Farnham event (Dec 3rd) will be held in The Maltings courtyard as part of The Maltings Monthly Market. (You will be provided with a gazebo, 6ft table and two chairs.)

**Electricity and running water cannot be provided at any of the venues**

How many businesses will you accept?

We are planning:

Up to 40 businesses for Guildford

Up to 35 businesses for Orpington

Up to 30 businesses for Farnham

What can I sell?

Entrepreneurs launching products that they’ve made themselves will be prioritised over businesses selling second-hand items and reselling bought stock.

Please note, we do accept businesses who add value to second-hand items, for example, up-cycling and customising second-hand clothes.

We do not recommend selling hot food, as you will be required to obtain a food hygiene certificate – an expensive and time-consuming exercise.

Please also note that baked goods (biscuits, cakes etc) are acceptable but very popular businesses to launch, so we may not be able to accept all businesses in this category.

Questions? Get in touch:

What's the fee to participate?

There is a £20 participation fee from all accepted businesses. This is to reserve the entrepreneur’s spot at the fair and hold them accountable to attend as stalls are limited.

If you might struggle to pay for the start-up cost and stand fee, please get in touch to find out more about the CBF Scholarship.

**Please note – refunds will not be issued for cancellations after 14 days before the event**

Where should I begin?

When you apply, we will send you a starter pack called My Business Plan. It’s a simple guide to starting a business and features ideas for start-up businesses.

How do I apply? Can I apply as part of a group?
  • Applications must be submitted online.
  • Please submit one application for each business.
  • If you are working as a group, you should submit one application that includes each of your teammates’ information.
  • No more than 3 participants per business.
What's on the application?

The application asks you to think through some simple but important elements of your business:

  • What product or service do you plan to sell?
  • What price will you charge for each product/service?
  • How much will each product/service cost you?
  • How will you pay for your startup costs? If someone is helping you with your startup costs, how will you pay that person back?
  • How will you advertise/market your business before the fair?
  • At the end of the fair, how will you determine if your business was a success?
What if someone else has the same business idea?

Two jewellery businesses? No problem! We let market forces play out.

We will let later entries know if another applicant has a similar idea so the later entrant can decide what to do.

What are the rules?

This event is designed to give young entrepreneurs the experience of creating a business and selling a product or service.

Whilst parents can help you fill out the application, we expect participants to do as much as possible by themselves.

Please note, if a parent is found creating a business for participants or selling or promoting their product or service, your business will not be eligible for a prize.

Participants should be responsible for set-up, customer interaction and sales.

Will there be prizes?

Yes. We have awards in specific categories:

Best Product, Best Stand, Best Sales Presentation and Judge’s Choice. Cash prizes in each category will be awarded at the end of the fair.

All entries will be automatically entered into the competition.

Judges will ask the entrepreneurs questions about the fundamentals of their business, such as how they came up with product prices and who their target market is.

Judges will also evaluate how much of the business reflects their own work (versus parents’).

What advice do you have for parents?

Our experience has shown that young entrepreneurs enjoy and learn considerably more when parents have the courage to step back from the process.

Remember – this about your young entrepreneurs. Let them imagine, create and problem-solve. Resist the temptation to help out. Your job is to maintain enthusiasm and provide encouragement.

Keep it simple. Let the business plan, booth design, and sales patter reflect them at his/her best – not your best.

Let them fail, make mistakes and learn from them. Let them problem-solve and come up with their own solutions. Let them be messy! Let them be Chair of the Board and CEO! Let them own their ideas.

If your child gets stuck, return to the key question for their entrepreneurial journey: “What can I make with my own hands that others might enjoy?”

How did the Children’s Business Fair get started?

The Children’s Business Fair was originally developed in 2007 by Acton Academy – an organisation based in Austin, Texas. Acton believes in the power of work and entrepreneurship to improve self-esteem and build strong communities.

After several successful fairs, founders Jeff and Laura Sandefer gave others the opportunity for others to host their own fairs. Children’s Business Fairs have since spread all around the world.

How does the Children's Business Fair work?

Develop a brand, build a product or service, create a marketing strategy…

…and then open for business at our one-day marketplace event.


Apply Now

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