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'It feels like I'm independent': Young entrepreneurs put their products to the test at Florin Square Shopping Center

The "Youth Entrepreneurs Day" event included around 30 vendors with products ranging from clothing to baked goods.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A group of young entrepreneurs debuted their businesses for a "Youth Entrepreneur's Day" event at the Florin Square Shopping Center.

The event consisted of about 30 different young vendors showcasing a variety of products from baked goods to clothing. It was a culmination of a six-week summer camp designed to help those ages 14-19 learn the importance of starting a business.

"The main thing (of) the workshop was team building, and it consisted of mock interviews, resume building," said William McDaniels, president of the Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum at Florin Square.

Through the camp, youth were encouraged to pursue businesses reflecting their own interests.

"We had a couple days and we went over different ideas and topics... some of them brainstormed and thought about what they're passionate about, what they love to do and they came up with the idea themselves," said Naimah Moon, a staff member at the Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum.

Launching a business by himself was what excited Amani Muderhwa the most. His creation was "Amani's Beverage Booth."

"It feels like I'm independent and I don't have to depend on someone else to start something on my own," Muderhwa said.

Heri Kitenza, the entrepreneur behind "Heri's Snack Shack," felt the same way. He said the summer classes gave him the tools to showcase his ideas on Youth Entrepreneurs Day.

"We learned how to put stuff together, find materials and create a budget," Kitenza said.

McDaniels said the ultimate goal of the event was to encourage more minority-owned businesses. 

"It's our goal to show them you can be part of the working world, to urge Black businesses," McDaniels said. "There's not enough of them, especially young Black entrepreneurs."

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