Student entrepreneur among many preparing for SCS small business expo

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 9-year-old Snowden School student will be among 75 vendors at Shelby County Schools' small business expo at the Agricenter Saturday.

Like most fifth graders, Kinyah Bean is looking forward to the weekend. But in some ways, the 9-year-old is very different from other kids her age.

"At 6, my dad told me to have a company by age of 10, so it's been on my mind for a while," she said.

The student now has what she thinks of as a second job: business owner.

"You have to balance school and work because if I don't do well in school my parents have said they'll shut down the company," she said.

That company is called B Chill Lemonade. She created it in her parents' kitchen.

"B Chill Lemonade is a fresh and natural product," Kinyah said. "We have various flavors. We have original, coconut, mango, strawberry, peach, raspberry, blueberry. And our new one: pineapple," she said.

She's one of about 75 vendors participating in the first Small Business Expo put on by Shelby County Schools. Officials say it's an opportunity for teachers, students and parents who are also entrepreneurs.

"Some of them struggle with marketing," director of family and community engagement Dr. Lori Phillips said. "This way everyone can become marketable."

But Phillips says there`s another long-term goal.

"We have 40,000 students live in household income of $10,000 or less. We want to become a part of the solution," she said.

For Kinyah, she's already learning skills and lessons she'll have for life.

"I'm very invested in this and so are my parents," she said.

She said she also planned to start other businesses in the future.

The expo will go from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Agricenter.