Acton Academy Omaha

Omaha Children’s Business Fair

Ignite entrepreneurship in your child

Kids develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy, and then open for customers at our one-day marketplace. 

We will host up to 100 youth start-up businesses on Sunday, December 3 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at the Omaha Palazzo, located near 132nd and Fort.  

Event Activities:
12:00- Participant Check-In & Set-Up
2:00- Public Marketplace & Judging
4:00- Awards Ceremony

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A fun Launch Event will also be held on Tuesday, October 17 from 4:30-6:30 pm to offer inspiration and support to participants and parents alike!  Location at the St. Robert Bellarmine Mainelli Center.  

The first 100 businesses who register by September 26 will receive a special hands-on business planning kit (new model), given to them at the Launch Event to help them prepare for the fair! 

Registration for the Launch Event happens on the same Fair application form. Follow these steps to prepare for your application today!

Our youth are capable of far more than we can imagine.  When we can inspire them through stories of entrepreneurs who have gone before, emphasize the journey of growth over the result itself, and give them opportunity to learn through real-world, hands-on experiences, these young heroes will be inspired to discover their most precious gifts and a calling that will change the world.

This event is hosted by Acton Academy Omaha and Prairie STEM and is sponsored by the generous support of our donors and volunteers, many listed below. We all believe that principled entrepreneurs are heroes and role models for the next generation.

Whether an entrepreneur is famous like Elon Musk or Oprah Winfrey or they are one of the thousands of unsung business owners across this country, these are the people who make sacrifices to innovate, create jobs and serve their communities.

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Thank You to Our Incredible Sponsors

Here Are A Few FAQs We Get A Lot:

The Omaha Children’s Business Fair inspires children to discover their inner entrepreneur.  The largest entrepreneurship event for kids in North America, this one-day market gives children the opportunity to showcase their very own business.

We will accept up to 100 businesses.

Unsure where to start?  Our advice is to keep it simple.

  • First, think about what you can make with your own hands that others might enjoy.
  • Next, picture how you might sell it.
  • Finally, image the feeling (and responsibility) of having a little extra spending money as a result.

For inspiration for participants and parents alike, plan to attend our Launch Event!  This fun event will include business advice from local entrepreneurs, stories from prior participants, an opportunity for youth to share their pitch and prototype product, and details about day-of logistics!  Register to attend when you apply to the fair.

Learn more about the 3 Magic Seeds for starting a business and what the mindset of a hero looks like in this story, A Message to Garcia.

For more inspiration, check out pictures and stories from our past fairs on our Facebook page.

For more helpful tools, check out the following resource, Steps to Building Your Business.

Yes.  Each business may have up to 2 participants.  The parent/legal guardian of the “lead participant” will fill out the application at the link above, paying the $20 application fee (one fee per business), and then will receive a special link to share with the additional participant for their parent/legal guardian to fill out.

Yes.  There is a $20 non-refundable application fee per business to help cover the expenses of the event.

Participant Waivers:

The parent / legal guardian of each participant must be the one to submit the application and agree to the included waivers.  See our Policies & Procedures document here.

Business Details Portion:

The application asks kids to think through some simple, but important elements of their 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?

Video Portion:

The application also asks each new participant to submit a video to our fair Flip platform, answering the following questions below (includes questions for both the participant and their parent/guardian to answer in a single video).  Please note:  Any submitted applications by new participants will remain on the waitlist until this video is received.

Participant shares:
  • Where did you get the idea for your business?
  • What will be the biggest challenge for you in this experience?
  • What are you most excited about for this experience?
Parent/Guardian shares:
  • How did you hear about the Omaha Children’s Business Fair?
  • What are you most excited about for your child in this experience?
  • What about this experience will be most challenging for you as a parent?
  • Do you have any other questions for us or ways we can support you in this experience?


Application Review:

Applications will be reviewed each week on Monday and Friday.  Keep an eye on your email, as we will respond to your application within one week of receiving all parts of your application.

Two cupcake businesses?  Not a problem.  In general, we will let market forces play out.

The fair will be an indoor event on the main level of the Omaha Palazzo.  Each business will be given one 4-ft. section of table and 1-2 chairs.  We are not able to accommodate businesses requiring electricity. 

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide electricity to the booths.

This event is designed to give children the experience of selling a product or service.  If a parent is found selling or promoting a child’s product or service, their child’s business will be disqualified from the competition.

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

Parents may help their child fill out the application, but we expect the children to do as much as possible by themselves.

Jeff and Laura Sandefer and a few other families wanted to spark a sense of wonder and entrepreneurship in their children so they created the first Acton Children’s Business Fair in Austin, Texas, in 2007.  That year, there were seven entrepreneurs and around 25 attendees.  Now, there are over 115 entrepreneurs and 1,500 attendees at the Acton Children’s Business Fair in Austin.

Chris and Rachel Benson were so inspired by the Sandefers that they started the Omaha Children’s Business fair in 2018 to cultivate a courageous, creative and entrepreneurial spirit in Omaha youth!