Kids & Family

Officials Support Teen Entrepreneur Instead of Shutting Him Down

Someone turned him in. The reaction of the city officials (and a well-known talk show host) may surprise you.

When 13-year-old Jaequan Faulkner got reported for selling hot dogs last summer in Minneapolis, MN, the story could have gone a number of ways.

In this case, instead of shutting down the stand and slapping the teen with a fine, the Minneapolis Health Department helped him get a permit to make his business official.

Faulkner with his Uncle and a friend at the original location of his hot dog stand in front of his house in Minnesota.

(Source: @MplsKids )

To push the boy's entrepreneurship efforts even further, the city inspectors connected Faulkner with the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON), an organization that provides guidance to budding business owners in the region.

Other people in the community also stepped in to help Faulkner, including the MPD Bike Cops for Kids organization (pictured below), who donated a brand new hot dog stand and other supplies. They also gave Faulkner a prime spot in front of the department's Fourth Precinct police station to set up his stand.

MPD Bike Cops for Kids provided supplies to support Faulkner's businessSource: Bike Cops for Kids Facebook

Faulkner was (happily) overwhelmed by the community's support. "I was actually kinda surprised (because) usually I would have one person at a time help me, but then with so many people coming at once, I'm like, wow, I realized how much people enjoy it," he said.

This year, after an appearance on the Steve Harvey show where he received a check for $10,000 from the talk show host and a shiny, new hot dog stand from Shark Tank's Daymond John, Faulkner is taking his business to new heights. He now has an official name for his business, "Mr. Faulkner's Old Fashioned Hot Dogs," and a new location outside the Minneapolis Urban League.

Mr. Faulkner's Old Fashioned Hot Dogs: a new name and a shiny new stand.Source: Mr. Faulkner's Old-Fashioned Hot Dogs Facebook

Faulkner plans to donate part of the proceeds from his stand to an organization that helps youth with depression. "My hope this year is to be an inspiration," he told KARE11 -TV. "I want to inspire other young teens that live in North Minneapolis."

When in Minneapolis, visit Mr. Faulkner's Old Fashioned Hot Dog Stand every Monday-Friday, from 11 am to 4 pm outside the Minneapolis Urban League at 2100 Plymouth Avenue N.

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