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 you the opportunity to launch and showcase your very own businesses, learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur and earn your own money.

When and where will it be held?

Our next fairs:

Saturday 4th April 2020 – Guildford Children’s Business Fair @ the Holy Trinity Church, Guildford

Saturday 2nd May 2020 – Farnham Children’s Business Fair @ The Maltings, Farnham

Friday 8th May 2020 – Haslemere Children’s Business Fair @ The Haslemere Charter Fair

***Launch and info sessions occur four to five weeks before each event***

  • Guildford Launch/Info – March 7th 11AM – 12.30pm at the Guildhall, High Street, Guildford
  • Farnham Launch/Info – March 28th 10AM – 11.30am at The Maltings, Farnham
  • Haslemere Launch/Info – March 28th PM – Timings and location TBC


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.

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

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

Each business will be given a 4ft x 2ft table and two chairs. The rest is up you.

**Please note – electricity cannot be provided**

How many businesses will you accept?

Up to 40 businesses at the Guildford CBF (4th April)

Up to 20 businesses at the Farnham CBF (2nd May)

Up to 20 businesses at The Haslemere Charter Fair (8th May)

What's the fee to participate?

We will collect 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 there is a hardship circumstance, please enquire for assistance at

Please note, as we encourage entrepreneurs to relaunch and constantly improve their businesses, returning businesses receive 50% discount on their stand fee (ie: £10)

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 loads of 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 is 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 cupcake businesses? Not a problem!

We will let market forces play out, though 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 your 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 a participants or selling or promoting their product or service, your business will not be eligible for the category awards.

Parents of younger children may sit by the stand, but participants should be responsible for set up, customer interaction and sales.

Please note,


Will there be prizes?

Yes. We have awards in specific categories: Best Product, Best Stand and 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 step back from the process.

Remember to keep 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 others to host their own fairs. Children’s Business Fairs have since spread all over the US and around the word.

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