Having a lemonade stand is a fairly common way for kids to raise money. Chances are you did it when you were young. (I know I did.) Enterprising youth make a little money and in the process, learn a thing or two about entrepreneurship. And now with Lemonade Day, this 20th Century childhood rite of passage is being taken to the next level.
The nationwide program was created by entrepreneur Michael Holthouse in 2007. His daughter was looking to raise money for the purchase of a new pet. When she decided to start a lemonade stand, Holthouse found himself helping out with tips to make her business more successful. He realized this was something that could benefit other children, and Lemonade Day was born.
The idea is simple. Kids (with the help of an adult mentor) register on the website. There is a month of education, where child and adult learn 14 principles for starting a business. These principles include things like budgeting, business plans, and promoting their business.
The Lemonade Day website adds the child’s stand to their directory, and on launch day, it’s boom, open for business! The kids keep all the profits, although the website advises kids to save, spend a little, and donate some to charity. The program is free for all participants and supported by donations and sponsors.
The official Lemonade Day is the first Saturday in May. While that date has passed for 2013, it’s worth keeping on the calendar for your little ones. And some cities may hold events later in anticipation of cooler temperatures. The list of participating cities is relatively small right now, with about 50 signed up for this year.
Lots of kids run a lemonade stand at some point in their lives. It teaches them how to sell, and gives them the excitement of earning a little extra spending money on hot summer days. But now with Lemonade Day, the activity goes beyond breezy pastime to becoming an apprenticeship for the entrepreneur of tomorrow.