The dreams of more than 100 young entrepreneurs took flight recently during Prince George’s County first KidPreneur Day. Hosted by the county’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Operation HOPE – an international leader in economic empowerment – the youth event promoted financial literacy, while providing budding entrepreneurs with business tactics and inspirational advice.

President and CEO of Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation Jim
Coleman greets participants during KidPreneur Day. (Courtesy Photo)

The inaugural participants of KidPreneur Day were offered the chance to expand their business plans, craft their own business cards and financial plans and learn how to pitch their businesses. Participants’ aspirations spanned through various industries including car sales, fashion design and beauty.

Several business experts, including April Richardson, president and CEO of D.C. Sweet Potato Cakes, as well as other local businesses, shared information with participants such as 10-year-old Audre Dabney, owner of Car Realtor, a business that searches for and selects the perfect car for buyers, and 11-year-old Morgan Lytle, president of Morgan Camille Skincare.

“I’m glad I came here today,” said Dabney. “It makes me feel like I am important and that my thoughts can be shared without criticism. Someone is listening to our ideas and is willing to help us.”

Understanding the importance of youth entrepreneurship, President and CEO of EDC Jim Coleman said that there is no age requirement for one’s future to begin. “I was twelve years old when my father made me the CEO of Coleman Crest, our family farm. The skills and experience that I gained at that age have made me the CEO that I am today. It is never too early to start your future, as these young people are demonstrating today.”

One of the event’s speakers was 16-year-old Gabrielle Jordan, an entrepreneur, best-selling author and motivational speaker. Jordan was nine when she started her own jewelry business called Jewelz of Jordan. “Dare to dream big and don’t let fear stop you from achieving your dreams,” she said. “Dreaming about your ideas, places you want to go, and people you want to meet is a process that can be frightening sometimes. But if you plan to succeed, you can push through any feat you have to achieve your dreams.”

The EDC said they expect to hold the next KidPreneur Day in August 2017.