LIVINGSTON, NJ — Over the past six weeks, more than 100 children from Hillside Elementary School have been participating in the award-winning TREP$ after-school program, which has taught students the basics of entrepreneurship. On Tuesday, they will put all that they have learned to the test as they launch their own businesses.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the 4th-and 5th-grade students will become the vendors at the flea-market-style event, where items such as Galaxy Slime, BRICK by BRICK, Krafty Kids, GameBolt, Jazzy Jewelry, Custom Planters and more will be available for purchase to all cash-carrying members of the public.

Sponsored by Regal Bank and the Hillside PTA, the TREP$ initiative was designed to serve as an inspiration for young people to think creatively and to put their ideas into action by creating a new business.

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"Educating our young people about entrepreneurship and reinforcing the value that entrepreneurs and innovators bring to our economy is critical to America’s long-term prosperity—more so now than ever before," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

According to Kauffman Foundation research, 41 percent of children ages 9 -12 say they would like to start their own business.

"Young people have a natural desire for the independence and control that comes with owning a business and being their own boss," said Schramm.  

TREP$ co-founder Hayley Romano added that TREP$ takes that desire and “turns it into a concrete learning experience from which the kids benefit in so many ways." Pamela deWaal, Romano’s partner, agreed.

"Entrepreneurship education through TREP$ is an empowering self-esteem builder that gives kids a greater sense of control over their lives and futures," said deWaal. “With the support of the community, the young participants of TREP$ will learn the value of creativity, motivation, and hard work.”