Saturday, May 18, 2024

Kidovate’s creative youth entrepreneurship market to take over the Bay Centre this weekend


Prepare your wallet and your heart, this is a wholesome and exceedingly impressive event you won’t want to miss! 

This Saturday, April 13th, over 200 middle and high school youth will be taking over the Bay Centre to present what they’ve spent months making and repurposing. 

The market is filled to the brim with unique and exceptional talent, and most importantly, you’ll be supporting local young entrepreneurs!

This exciting day will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.—plenty of time to take in everyone’s work and find some new goodies to take home.

Known as ‘Kidovate,’ attendees will get the chance to learn about what these intelligent minds have been up to and the dozens of business decisions they’ve had to grapple with to get there. 

Kidovate is a free youth entrepreneurship initiative through UVic’s Gustavson School of Business that mentors kids typically aged 11 to 17.

Aurora making dog treats for Kidovate 2024 (Courtesy of Dr. Claudia Smith)

The program launched in 2019 with 26 participants and has since grown exponentially.

“I’m so excited about joining the Kidovate community, and Saturday’s Market Day. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to all year,” said Isla Solbakken, age 11, who has been preparing succulents and other botanicals to sell. 

“Kidovate is my first time selling goods with other kids and I look forward to learning from, and potentially collaborating with, other young entrepreneurs like me.”

In addition to Solbakken’s succulents, other entrepreneurs include 13-year-old Savannah Levins selling her greeting cards and colour changing glasses; 13-year-old Rafael M. with 3D keychains for sale; 17-year-old Jayden Pleasants with a mix of vintage clothing; and 11-year-old Marliss Ahokas will be selling canvases and notebooks.

Plus, 9-year-old Anders has decided to sell baked goods and will be donating all proceeds to the Victoria Hospital Foundation in memory of his dad.

Cofounder Dr. Brock Smith commented on Canada needing more entrepreneurs, and that Kidovate allows the space for youth to learn-by-doing and grow into themselves and their ideas—taking those skill sets into adulthood and continuing to inspire others.

“It takes a community to create an entrepreneur,” added Cofounder Dr. Claudia Smith.

“Kidovate is all about helping kids try entrepreneurship on for size, and helping them discover that it is a skill that can be learned and not a personality trait.”

Last year, hundreds of customers are said to have visited the Kidovate Market Day, and they’re hoping this year will draw in more!

The more people that these youths get to interact with, the more social skills they gain and the more successful they become.

Additionally, the kids are taught that giving back to the community and having social responsibility is an important part of becoming a good entrepreneur. So, they’re encouraged to choose a local charity to support by donating a portion of their earnings.

The resources that are provided through Kidovate include a graphic novel workbook, access to UVic student mentors and a learning guide for teachers and parents. 

To learn more about this entrepreneurship initiative, you can visit the Kidovate website

See you at the Kidovate Market Day this weekend!

Kidovate Market Day

  • Where: Bay Centre, 1150 Douglas Street
  • When: Saturday, April 13th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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