The annual Kuala Lumpur Children’s Business Fair, which is in its fourth year, takes on a new direction by going virtual this year.
Taking place this Sunday (June 14), from 12.30pm to 4.30pm, the free event will give members of the public an opportunity to browse and shop online for products from young entrepreneurs who are still in primary and secondary school.
“The children have put in a lot of effort and the show must go on, ” says the organiser, Acton Academy’s co-founder, Dr Ewe Chun Te.
“The fair gives these children an opportunity to learn how to create and market a product, sell to a stranger safely (online), and experience the freedom and responsibility of having money, ” he adds.
They are solely responsible for the setup, sales, and interaction with customers, and they are encouraged to do everything independently, with as little intervention as possible from their parents.
The fair will feature products from about 30 young entrepreneurs this year. Among them are aspiring YouTuber Arjun Sharda Kharbanda, 12, who will be selling vegetable planting kits at the online fair.
Each kit includes different types of seeds, one pot and half a bag of growing soil, and a manual on how to plant the seeds.
“The MCO made me realise there can be a shortage of vegetables anytime so I wanted to encourage people to learn about gardening and grow their own vegetables, ” he says.
Best friends and “business partners” Apsara Karim, 12, and Vega Toksvig, 11, are putting their artistic talent to use to make and sell customised watercolour booksmarks.
“We enjoy watercolour art and thought it would be cool if we did it for the fair, ” says Apsara.
“I think the worlds need a little more colour and our bookmarks will help brighten the world, ” says Toksvig.
“But, since we don’t know what to expect when it comes to online sales, we’re making the bookmarks on demand, ” says aspiring artist Apsara.
Budding businesswoman Aqeesha Lara Yusoff, 17, will be selling two types of sambal – vegetarian and non-vegetarian – at the fair.
Aqeesha says she was inspired by her mum whom she learned how to make the sambal from.
“I grew up helping my mum in the kitchen, learning how to cook dishes, including sambal and it took only a few days to finalise everything – from getting the ingredients and making the condiment, to packaging it for delivery, ” she says.
Aspiring entrepreneur Dhanya Night, 14, is selling edible chickpea cookie dough – “gluten-free and with no added sugar” – which comes in three flavours: original, chocolate chip and banana-almond.
“I’ve always enjoyed baking and wanted to create something unique for customers who crave something sweet but want to eat healthy, ” she says.
Haidan Hazurin, 16, is selling custom-designed T-shirts to support the Covid-19 Mental Health Relief Fund since “it was mental health awareness month last month”.
“I’m donating part of the proceeds to this fund so that frontliners can help those who struggle with mental illness and addiction, ” he says.
Budding author Jasmine Kayleigh Chan, 9, will be selling two books – Eerie Sounds And Other Amazing Stories (for 6-8 year olds) and Haunted Memories And Other Amazing Stories (for 9 to 13 year olds) – and custom-made puzzle bookmarks.
“I like writing stories so I decided to pen my ideas into books to sell. I wanted to encourage people to read more," she says.
Jared Yau, 8, is making and selling cement pots at the online fair.
“I was inspired by a YouTube video where people used moulds to make pots for their plants, and it’s eco-friendly, ” says Yau, who desires to develop apps when he grows up.
Evan Au-Yong, 15, will be selling his fictional novel, Caesar’s Baristas, which is about a teenager who drinks coffee to cope with depression from losing his parents. He then goes on a quest to save his godfather’s coffee roaster from closing its doors forever.
“It’s a funny, dark and exaggerated story about business, power and coffee, ” he says.
“I wanted readers to learn important life lessons from my book while they enjoy reading it, ” says Au-Yong, who plans to study computer science and pursue a career in the tech industry.
Shoppers can access the virtual fair in a private Facebook group marketplace.
For more info, visit: actonkl.org/sharing-goodies
A showcase of young entrepreneurs
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