• Junior CEOs Open for Business at Santa Maria Town Center Mall

    Some of Santa Maria Valley’s youngest entrepreneurs have been hard at work the past month learning how to start and manage their own business. This Saturday, they will get the chance to open their business to the public and sell their products at Santa Maria Town Center Mall.

    Approximately 30 local youth at the 5th-7th grade levels have participated in the Santa Maria Valley Chamber’s Junior CEO program, a 6-week course that walks students through what it takes to start and operate their own business.

    “The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Junior CEO program is part of a new community collaboration to help develop and retain local talent while increasing the pipeline of much needed leaders and workers for our local businesses,” explained Santa Maria Valley Chamber Board Chair Danny Deveraux. “Junior CEO introduces business concepts and opportunities to local 6th graders to plant the idea that they can significantly contribute to or actually create and own a business.”

    Topics the Junior CEOs have learned about include business operation basics, marketing and customer service, money management, food safety and cost models. While going through these virtual lessons, participants have also had the opportunity to design their own business, which they will open to the public this Saturday, November 20th from 11am to 3pm at Santa Maria Town Center Mall.

    The Junior CEO program is administered by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and made possible through donations of a number of community sponsors, including presenting sponsors California Strawberry Commission and Community Bank of Santa Maria.

    “Community Bank of Santa Maria is honored to support the Junior CEO Program,” said Janet Silveria, President/CEO of Community Bank. “We consider the investment in these bright, young students to be an investment in the economic future of the Santa Maria Valley. I encourage everyone to show up and support these extraordinary youth.”

    “The California Strawberry Commission has a long history of supporting students in our farming communities as they pursue their American Dreams,” explained Chris Christian, Senior Vice President of the California Strawberry Commission. “Many of our family farmers are small business owners themselves, and the Junior CEO program is the perfect opportunity for us to support the young entrepreneurs and innovators who will become the future business and community leaders in Santa Maria.”

    The Junior CEO Business Launch Day event will take place this Saturday, November 20th at the Santa Maria Town Center Mall from 11am to 3pm. Junior CEOs will have their business booths set up on the first and second floors of the mall near the movie theatre. The community is encouraged to come out and support the business endeavors of Santa Maria’s emerging entrepreneur! 

    Additional details about the Junior CEO program can be found here.