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Marion Syversen Marion Syversen
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Business, kid-style

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I love business. I love owning my own, hearing the stories of other business owners and encouraging folks to begin a new business.

So helping kids develop the skills and passion of business owners and giving them practical experience in running a business seems brilliant to me. It's no surprise that I love the concept of Lemonade Day.

Lemonade Day is both a national organization and a specific day.

The organization promotes entrepreneurship and financial literacy. It does this by choosing one day for each community - this year in Maine the date is Sunday, June 3 - for kids to run a stand.

Frequently a kid's first business is opening a lemonade stand. What the organization Lemonade Day has done is use this entrepreneurial instinct in children to teach substantive lessons in a fun way. They have created a 14-lesson package walking an inexperienced kid-preneur through all the cool concepts one needs to consider when starting a business, subjects such as customer service, marketing and debt, credit and net income.

The kids are challenged to consider what customers want. Is being cute enough in this competitive market for lemonade? How can your lemonade stand draw more people than another stand?

How will they get the word out about their stand? Where should they set up a stand for best visibility and great sales? Can they partner with a friend or family member whose house is located in a busier section of town for better sales?

For a child with no money and with a need to buy lemonade to sell, what now? They will need money. Either they will need to use credit, or they'll have to borrow money from their own savings to buy the material they need. When they calculate what they spent and what money they earned, they can then determine if there is any net income.

You can see that though a lemonade stand can be a very simple operation the concept can also be used for teaching practical lessons about entrepreneurship.

Intended for kids ages 5 through 17, you can get more information at their web site When children register, they get a workbook with 14 lessons that include all the information you'd need to run a lemonade stand well and with forethought.

Watch out Bangor, Maine. Kid-preneurs coming June 3!


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