By V. Dunbar – Duval County middle and high school students are receiving the rare opportunity to run their own business through the Annie Ruth Foundation and Fresh Ministries summer youth programs. Youth are gaining valuable business knowledge over six weeks of entrepreneurial training as managers and operators of a brick-and-mortar retail shop. Six teenage interns from the programs will complete nearly 100 hours of entrepreneurial training selling snacks and beverages to tenants from a Pop-Up Snack Shop located at Beaver Street Enterprise Center. The shop which operates under the license, ‘Chips Gifts,’ reopened in 2022, summoning the opportunity to reopen as a summer pop up came about when Dunbar polled the students about their career dreams. To her surprise, all said they wanted to start a business or wanted to learn more about entrepreneurship. “We intend to increase youth financial literacy and close the family wealth gap over the longer term,” said Dr. Dunbar. “Sustainability is the key and by starting at the earliest age and opportunity, we can have a significant impact across multiple economic, health, and educational disparities.”
Dr. Dunbar is founder of The Center for Confidence, LLC and works as a business advisor and technical assistance provider to the Fortune 500 and national nonprofits. Shown are Dreamweek Inc. summer Interns learning business financial literacy and entrepreneurship as managers and operators of their own retail snack shop.