FAIRFIELD, Ala. (WIAT) — 12-year-old Mario Mack said he started his business, J’s Pop-Up Shaved Ice, when he was 10 years old. He had an idea and hopes of following in his mother’s footsteps.

“She really liked to work for herself, and I saw that, like, early on when she started and I thought it was really cool,” said Mack, owner and operator of J’s Pop-Up Shaved Ice. “So, I wanted to do my own thing and start a food truck.”

Two years later, he purchased his first trailer and is now saving to buy an even bigger one so that he can expand and grow his business.

One local organization, Urban Impact Birmingham, specializes in helping entrepreneurs like Mack.

“We try to really create access and opportunities for all entrepreneurs. So we have programs, we have capital access, and we also try to develop in the district as well,” said Courtney Craig, the Program Manager at Urban Impact Birmingham.

According to Craig, she has noticed an increase in young entrepreneurs in recent years.

“It’s necessary. We need to have a wraparound approach in our community when we’re serving entrepreneurs and we need our kids to have something productive,” said Craig.

For Mack, his business is his passion and at such a young age he’s happy to live out his entrepreneurial dreams.

“What I want to be when I grow up? I want to own my own restaurant and I want to be able to cook,” said Mack.

He’s also more than happy to be an inspiration to other young entrepreneurs just like him.

“Whatever you put your mind to you can do and whatever you’re passionate about you should do it because it could really come true,” said Mack.

Mario said during the week he focuses on school and over the weekend he’s operating his business.

At least once a month he likes to set up at local parks around Birmingham and give away free shaved ice to the homeless.