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Genesee Valley Center to Host 33 Student-Run Pop-Up Shops

YouthQuest brings back YQ Biz just in time for the holidays

On Saturday, Dec. 14, Genesee Valley Center will expand its retail offering to include 33 pop-up shops featuring the wares and goods of some of Flint’s youngest entrepreneurs. The small businesses, created and run by K-12 students in YouthQuest’s afterschool program, will be in the mall’s J.C. Penney wing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“YQ Biz is a great opportunity to support Flint students while working on your holiday shopping list,” said Nefertari Jones, program director of YouthQuest, which is administered by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers. “We encourage shoppers to ask the students questions about their businesses, including how they came up with the ideas and what it means to be an entrepreneur.”

The event follows several weeks of entrepreneurship lessons provided during YouthQuest, an afterschool program offered at Flint Community Schools and International Academy of Flint. As part of the curriculum, students learned about concepts such as marketing and profit-sharing, developed business plans and competed in ‘Shark Tank’-style pitch competitions.

Products available for purchase include fleece blankets, bath bombs and a variety of holiday ornaments and decorations, although Jones is quick to point out that, “YQ Biz isn’t just about making and selling a product. It teaches students how to think creatively, critically and outside of the box. These are skills that they can use wherever they go and whatever career path they follow.”

For more information about YQ Biz Expo, click here.

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