Richmond Children’s Business Fair 2019 with CJ Walker

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CJ Walker Owner of Metro RVA Teens

CJ Walker Owner of Metro RVA Teens

With the Richmond Children’s Business Fair 2019 right around the corner, I had the opportunity to chat with a few of the 73 “Youthpreneurs” that will be in attendance March 9th.  I had a chance to catch up with my friend CJ Walker to discuss this years Event.

Tell us more about your experience working with local youth. 

I’ve been working with kids since I was 14 years old. I worked as a volunteer at my church’s summer camp program. From there, I’ve continued working with kids as a children’s church youth volunteer, a volunteer for several Richmond Public Schools. At age 22, I’ve became a program director for a local community center before becoming an executive director of my church’s summer camp program. Afterward, I became a Recreation Instructor and then Recreation Center Supervisor for the City of Richmond’s Before & After School Program for 5.5 years.


What is the Focus of Metro RVA teens? 

The focus for Metro RVA Teens is to equip Teens ages 12-19 and their parents with resources that are all things teen! We highlight events, jobs, programs and services that will help teens get on the right path and make healthy lifestyle choices. 


Last year I had the opportunity to attend the RCBF. The Young Entrepreneurs were so impressive! I even purchased a few items for myself and will be doing the same when I attend this year. Here’s a photo of me last year.

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Cj Walker tells me more about the RCBF.

How did the idea of RCBF come to fruition ? 

The Richmond Children’s Business Fair is part of the Acton Academy School of Business initiative. Created as an innovative way to teach youth entrepreneurship. They were looking for individuals who were willing to host similar events in the US. I thought that the opportunity would meet a need for Richmond so I stepped out on faith and applied. We were accepted the next day.


Who else is on your amazing team?

There are 3 co-hosts that help make this happen: Kerwyn Phillip and Sean Young Sr. from NDUGU Business & Leadership Academy and Stephan “Coach” Hicks from My Brother’s Keeper of Greater Richmond.

 

 What Roles do you all play in RCBF? 

RCBF Team

RCBF Team

For the most part, we all have equal roles in this venture, but I am most likely the first point of contact whenever an application is submitted and the one answering all emails. My co-hosts connect with our sponsors, create marketing flyers and videos. However, we all step in and help anyway we can. We are truly a team indeed.

 

What are the goals and future plans for RCBF?

Since our first event, we have created a collaborative called the Youth Business Exchange. The focus of the Youth Business Exchange is to equip youth entrepreneurs ages 5-17 with support, workshops, networking and vending opportunities that will help them with growing their businesses. After this year’s event, we will start the process of becoming a 501c3 organization. 

Can you provide our readers with Contact information for you and your team? 

You can find me: https://www.facebook.com/metrorvateens/

Kerwyn Phillip & Sean Young: https://www.facebook.com/NduguAcademyRVA/

Stephan Hicks: 

https://www.facebook.com/My-Brothers-Keeper-of-Greater-Richmond-122494892198/

Richmond Children’s Business Fair: 

https://www.childrensbusinessfair.org/richmond-metro-rva-teens

Youth Business Exchange: https://www.facebook.com/yberva/

What can the public expect from RCBF this year? 

This year we have 73 youthpreneurs operating 68 businesses. They will be selling everything from Arts & Crafts, Beauty, Clothing, Educational, Home Goods, Food & Drink, Pet Supplies, Toys and all things in-between!

We will also have a few sponsors present from Launch Trampoline, Your Day Entertainment who will be maintaining a photobooth, Young Entrepreneur Association, Macaroni Kid Richmond and an organization called GAP. 


Any stand out Entrepreneurs to look out for this year at RCBF?

That is a very difficult choice because there are all amazing! There are many youthpreneurs returning for a second year: Aroma Bakery, who completely sold out last year; Morr Props. Art. Cosplay was a favorite of many because of the amazing costumes; Science with Desiayiah has been doing amazing- the owner was one of 23 youth entrepreneurs selected to co-write a book that is available now; Chef Jahiem from Chowtime will be back with his amazing salmon salads and crab cakes; Henderson Home Crafts is back and has created a lot of new beautiful creations from pillowcases and tissue purses.

We also have a lot of newcomers as well. We have E.A. Cherry who will be selling her books and artwork; LidsLash Inc. will be selling eyewear protectors; Tiara Nicole’s Candles will be selling amazing scented candles; Tink Pink’s Lemonade Stand is selling organic lemonade and lemon cookies; Victoria’s Kitchen has a show on CW Richmond and will be selling their delicious meals. 

So many more- I could go on for hours!

Be sure to join CJ Walker and her Team March 9th at the Children’s Museum on Broad Street starting at 10am!

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barry farmer