For the second year in a row, YouthQuest is hosting the YQ Biz Expo at the Flint Farmers’ Market. YouthQuest students will sell their own products which they have been planning and developing for the past several months.
“Last year’s event was a hit with the students and community,” says Cheryl Adkins, program director of YouthQuest. “We want to build on that by continuing to foster entrepreneurism in students while supporting creativity and financial literacy.”
Over the last few weeks, students from each YouthQuest site participated in a Shark Tank-style competition, presenting a pitch for their business idea or product to a panel of judges. The judges consisted of local community members and business leaders.
YouthQuest staff is currently tallying the results and students who are selected to move on to the business fair will team up with other students to create products to sell at the business expo.
“Students have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit,” says Adkins. “Some students have continued to build businesses outside of the program.”
Sikaya Hale, an 11th-grade student at International Academy of Flint, participated in the business expo last year selling candles. This year, she is competing again to be part of the event – this time to launch her new business: Sikaya Sunshine Scrubs.
“I liked that I was able to interact directly with customers,” says Hale. “Last year, I wasn’t sure if people would be honest with what they thought about the product, but they were, and I appreciated that.”
The YQ Biz Expo will be held May 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Flint Farmers’ Market.
For a sneak peek at some of the business ideas presented last month to the judges, check out April’s Question of the Month.
YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.