It’s hard to believe that Lemonade Day is in its sixth year – wow! Over the last five years, more than 30,000 Indianapolis-area kids have gotten their first taste of entrepreneurship through this program. In the coming years, we’ll know if any of these mostly elementary school-aged kids viewed this Lemonade Day experience as the moment when “the light bulb came on” and they realized they could chart their own course in life.
For those who don’t know, Lemonade Day teaches kids how to start, own and operate their own business: a lemonade stand. Kids began signing up March 7th. They are provided access to a web-based, game-like application called Lemonopolis. Kids can work through Lemonopolis at their own pace, learning how to be a lemonade stand entrepreneur and prepare for Lemonade Day. We also hold fun, free workshops and contests along the way and on Saturday, May 16th kids will “open up shop” and sell lemonade to the community. The kids keep the money they earn and we encourage them to “spend some, save some and share some” of their Lemonade Day profits.
Every year, there are a number of kids who really stand out (and these are just the kids I know about). Last year, this kid was Nathan, proud owner of a Star Wars-branded lemonade business called “The Dark Side of Lemonade.” He won our Best Stand Contest. He also blew us away with his pitch for start-up money for his lemonade business. His lemonade stand – made entirely out of cardboard – looked like the Battlestar Galactica, with a cut-out window for selling lemonade. Amazingly, his lemonade was dark too: he used smashed-up blueberries to make it dark and it tasted great! This first-grader had a business plan, complete with a line-item budget, that would rival that of many adult entrepreneurs. At a Lemonade Day event with Governor Pence, Nathan told the Governor that he could help him balance the budget!
Nathan is one of those kids who, I believe, had that light bulb moment. He may or may not start a business one day but I know he’ll do something great. And as we begin our sixth Lemonade Day season I will be thinking about the other “Nathans” who will emerge and what they may ultimately accomplish one day. I feel proud that we’re part of that story.
Check out our web site and follow us on social media for more information:
facebook: Lemonade Day Indianapolis
twitter & Instagram: @lemonadedayindy
Check out Nathan’s video pitch for start-up money at: youtube.com/lemonadedayindy