Young Triangle entrepreneurs to be featured in national ‘webisode’ this week

Teens eager to launch their own business may want to tune in to the first “webisode” of “The Arena,” on Wednesday. The program, organized by the Brian Hamilton Foundation and Junior Achievement, will feature two young entrepreneurs from the Triangle, along with Brian Hamilton, who is founder of Raleigh-based Sageworks, a financial information company.

The webisode will air at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 21. To watch, you can register via Junior Achievement’s website.

The program will be moderated by Melinda Emerson, a Junior Achievement alumna and a small business expert. Coaches for the episode are Hamilton and Tracy Tutor, co-star of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing LA,” a best-selling author and entrepreneur.

During the episode, four tween and teen entrepreneurs will present their businesses to the coaches, who will provide some insights and constructive feedback on how they can take their ventures to the next level, according to a press release.

“The nation depends on entrepreneurs and startups to drive innovation and job growth,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA, in the press release. “Given the challenges businesses are currently facing, the next generation may have questions about the future of entrepreneurship. This program provides an opportunity for teens to learn more about what it takes to start a business, even at a young age.”

The four young entrepreneurs include Jakayla Dixon, founder of Feel the Color, which offers fashion for people who are visually impaired in Dallas, and Jack Bonneau, founder of Teen Hustl, a restaurant and grocery delivery service in Denver.

The local student entrepreneurs are Ayden Lally, founder of Lite It Up, a holiday lights installation business, in Raleigh, and Susan Croft, founder of Tiny Treats Bakery in Hillsborough.

Lite It Up isn’t the first entrepreneurial venture for Ayden, but he has found a niche in installing Christmas lights for businesses, according to the program’s organizers. Ayden is a junior and takes classes at Wake Tech.

Susan, 12, learned baking from her grandmother. She started making sweet treats, but realized that recurring weekly orders for bread are more lucrative than one-off orders for sweets.

“Many kids in our nation lack exposure to the benefits of entrepreneurship,” said Charlie Bradley, CEO of the Brian Hamilton Foundation, in the press release. “It is more important than ever to help all of our youth discover that they are never too young to start their own business. I can’t think of two better people to lead this conversation than Tracy Tutor and Brian Hamilton.”

“The Arena” is free to watch and open to anyone, but it’s designed for middle school and high school students and their parents.