Local 8th Grader Creates Successful Business During The Pandemic

CHARLOTTE, NC – Millions of people are betting on themselves and starting their own business during the pandemic. That includes young people in the Charlotte area. They’re using their time to grow their business ideas that are being fostered at ACE Academy Charter School.

Handcrafted and handmade. Yari Dariela makes and sells sweet treats.

“I actually am surprised that there’s people that actually believe in me because I’m 13,” said Dariela.

The 8th grader at ACE Academy Charter School in Charlotte started her business, Dariela’s Sweet Taste, in March when she got a Kitchen Aid for a birthday present.

“We started off making strawberries dipped in chocolate,” explained Dariela.

Since then, business has been booming.

“People started ordering from different places in Charlotte and concord as well,” said Dariela, “and they started ordering cakes and everything and I just started having to buy more supply more often.”

“Many of our kids including Yari, have really dived into their businesses during the pandemic,” explained Laila Minott.

Minott is the ACE Executive Director. She says many students have taken advantage of their free time during the pandemic to focus on their business creations.

“Our kids are turning a corner and their businesses are flourishing so much that they’re having a challenge juggling their businesses and school work,” said Minott.

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Charlotte, and across the country. According to October data from the US Census bureau, there have been 56% more new business applications so far in 2020 compared to last year. That number has likely increased in the last two months.

Back in school, kids locally are learning the basics.

“It’s more about them learning the foundations of businesses because essentially if you understand business, you’ll be a better employee,” said Minott.

But it’s up to the students to get out, what they put in.

“It makes me feel happy because I didn’t expect this,” said Dariela.