On Saturday, Santa Maria Valley's youngest entrepreneurs got to showcase their hard work at the Junior CEO Business Launch Day event.
The event took place at the Santa Maria Town Center Mall where approximately 30 local kids in grades 5 through 7 got to "open their businesses" after completing the Santa Maria Valley Chamber's Junior CEO program. The 6-week virtual course taught the kids about marketing, customer service, and money management.
Students had the opportunity to then design their own business, which became open to the public at the event.
"This is something that I'll remember for the rest of my life," said Cecilia Cid, owner and founder of StrwEats. "It's a really great experience, I really have loved the whole thing from all the videos and the food-making to actually selling my product."
Many of the children expressed how much they've learned from the program, and how difficult it is to start your own business. Nonetheless, the kids were able to showcase their hard work and dedication.
"The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Junior CEO program is part of a new community collaboration to help develop and retain local talent while increasing the pipeline of much needed leaders and workers for our local businesses," said Santa Maria Valley Chamber Board Chair Danny Deveraux.
The Junior CEO program is supported by donations from sponsors, including the California Strawberry Commission and Community Bank of Santa Maria.
"We consider the investment in these bright, young students to be an investment in the economic future of the Santa Maria Valley. I encourage everyone to show up and support these extraordinary youth," said Janet Silveria, President/CEO of Community Bank.
More information on signing up for the Junior CEO program or becoming a sponsor can be found here.