On Sunday, the Crescenta Valley Youth Town Council held its fourth annual Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow event at the Montrose Farmers Market, continuing a program that builds self-confidence in young people through business and competition.
About a dozen participants, ranging in age from 7 to 12 years old, and their parents were each given vendor space at the Farmers Market on Honolulu Avenue and Wickham Way to sell their products throughout the morning.
The program was created by Crescenta Valley Town Council president Harry Leon several years ago, with help from council member Miriam Barnes, as a way to help kids present their ideas to customers.
"It has a very positive effect on the kids. It shows them how to be self-confident by getting involved in the hustle and bustle of competition and running a small business," Leon said.
Some of the items for sale included bird houses built from recycled coke bottles, homemade bath soap, Christmas cards and candles.
Leon said the mother of a young person who sold hair bows told him the event gave her daughter "a sense of how to respect the value of a dollar."
All young people from the Crescenta Valley and Glendale can apply as vendors.
The young entrepreneurs bring their own tables and products, while Leon and Barnes supervise. Only a deposit is required to make sure they leave the market area clean and adhere to a code of conduct.
Leon said he encourages customers at the market to engage with the young people during the sale and he allows vendors to sell similar products as a way to stimulate healthy competition.
"I want people to know how creative [these] kids ... are. Every year, they come with different ideas," Leon said. "We have talented kids, and we must give them a chance to show it and show what kind of community we are."