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YES participants take a photo at the end of their summit session (Credit Jimmie Aggison/ Houston Defender)

Entrepreneurship is a vital aspect of community development, and fostering it from an early age can have a lasting impact on the mindset of future leaders. I attended the Third Annual Young Entrepreneurs Summit, held at the Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center over the weekend. The event aimed at bringing enthusiastic young minds together to discuss entrepreneurship and the impact it can have on business.

Students were not only encouraged to dream but were also provided with the tools to turn those dreams into tangible business ideas.

Sanari Pope, a fourth-grader at Kipp East Elementary, came up with a business entitled “Little Gardeners Community,” where she aimed at tackling food insecurities within neighborhoods.

Saniya Barnes, a fourth-grader at Parker Elementary, also envisioned a garden business where she would sell seeds, fruits, vegetables, and gardening tools.

The summit not only showcased the creativity of young entrepreneurs but also highlighted the supportive role of parents in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship. James Adams, who attended the summit with his son, recognized the need for entrepreneurship in the Black community.

“I think it’s one of the foundations of what we need to pull ourselves out of the economic and social situation we’re in right now,” said Adams.

Similarly, Folade Madzimoyo and Onaje Barnes brought their daughters to the summit because they are strong advocates for Black entrepreneurship.

“We’ve got to bring Black dollars and Black businesses into the community. It’s so important for us to have self-determination, to have our own safe spaces, to have our own culture and celebrate our culture in our community, while not only building wealth but intergenerational wealth in our community,” said Madzimoyo.

The Third Annual Young Entrepreneurs Summit was a testament to the potential and creativity that resides within young minds. The business ideas generated by these students not only addressed community needs but also demonstrated the power of entrepreneurship in fostering positive change.

I’m originally from Kansas. I graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in communication studies. Shortly after moving to Houston in 2007, I began doing photography. I covered cy fair sports...