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Young entrepreneurship pays off

One-of-a-kind bows and jewelry, custom-designed pens, handmade soap and sea glass art were among the products that took Suffolk by storm during the Young Entrepreneur Business Expo on Saturday.

The event had great turnout this year from young business owners and supporters alike, with the number of young entrepreneurs ages 7 to 17 jumping more than 100 percent from last year and lots of people coming to find what these young people had to offer.

The second annual event that happened Saturday also featured an expo for businesses owned by adults, and incorporated the Suffolk Humane Society to promote that group’s fine work.

Small businesses are the backbone of our society, and behind every one of them is someone who once — perhaps even as a child — had a dream of working for themselves. Entrepreneurship is a skill and a passion that needs to be nurtured more in today’s youth. Those who possess the acumen needed for the grueling work of inventing new products and services, improving on old offerings and starting new businesses should be encouraged to pursue that avenue. And what better formula than this great event where they can be themselves, gain experience, show off what they’ve done and get advice from seasoned business owners?

We think Richard Chaing, an entrepreneur himself and president of Suffolk Executive Offices, has found a winning formula in the event highlighting these amazing young people while also bringing in grown-up business owners for support and promoting the Suffolk Humane Society’s adoptable animals to top it all off.