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Support ‘kidpreneurs’

An event coming up in June will help highlight young people who are starting businesses.

We’re not talking 20-somethings or even college students. Younger than that.

Focusing on “kidpreneurs” ages 7 to 17, the Downtown Suffolk Expo will provide young people who are making products and offering services a venue to sell those things to adults with the support of grown-up business owners.

The brainchild of an innovative businessman himself, Richard Chaing, the event is set to take place 9 a.m. to noon June 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront. His own children are kidpreneurs, so this topic is important to him.

But really, it should be important to all of us, whether we’re the parents of young business owners or not.

Young people are often expected to go out into the world knowing everything in their first moments as an adult. The current generation of students is graduated from high school with everything from personal finance knowledge to 50 hours of community service. They know the geography of South America, how to perform advanced calculus and make chemical reactions, how to parse the language of Shakespeare and everything in between — except, oftentimes, how to run a business.

How can we expect our young people to grow up and contribute to the economy if they don’t possess the real-world skills needed to start, own and run businesses?

That’s why supporting young entrepreneurs is so important. Adults must not look down on young people who have good ideas and want to pursue them, but rather should encourage them to follow their dreams. You never know what could come of it.

We encourage all grown-up business owners to support the expo. Visit www.suffolkyoungentrepreneur.com for more information.