Lemonade Day, created by Prepared 4 Life, a Texas 501C3 organization, is a fun and experiential learning program where communities across the nation unite to teach youth how to start, own and operate their own business through a lemonade stand. There are two distinct components of Lemonade Day. First, there is a month-long learning experience through which a child and a caring adult exercise a step-by-step process of starting a business. This month-long process has proven to have a dramatic impact on a child’s understanding of how to be an entrepreneur in any industry. The second component is the actual implementation of the business, which takes place on Lemonade Day, held annually on the first Sunday in May. Literally, thousands of children open their stand for business with support from their community. In the six years since Lemonade Day’s inception, the program has grown in Houston from 2,700 to 54,000 youth participating and has attracted attention from city leaders across the nation. In 2011, over 65,000 kids in 30 other U.S. cities also experienced Lemonade Day.
The foremost objective of Lemonade Day is to empower youth to take ownership of their lives and become productive members of society – the business leaders, social advocates, volunteers, and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow.
Each child that registers for Lemonade Day receives a backpack with an Entrepreneur Workbook and Caring Adult Guide that teaches them the 14 lessons of Lemonade Day including how to set goals, develop a business plan, secure an investor, create a product, make a profit, and give back to the community. These aspiring entrepreneurs and their mentor are guided step by step to the keys for success. They learn that if you set a goal, make a plan, and work that plan, you can achieve your dreams. These lessons culminate on one day where youth all across the city open for business. The best part is that after covering their expenses and paying back their investor, children are encouraged to open a youth savings account and “spend a little, save a little and share a little,” by donating a portion of their profits to a local charity of their choice.
“It is important that we teach future generations the importance of responsible business practices and instill the entrepreneurial spirit at a young age – an age that allows them to have hope and vision to excel in the future,” says founder, Michael Holthouse, “Our goal is to reach kids as a critical stage in their lives – that time when they are at a crossroads between a very good or bad path.”
Lemonade Day teaches youth how to start, own and operate their own business – using a lemonade stand. Through this enterprise, children will learn the entrepreneurial skills necessary to successful in the future and become contributing members of their communities. Children learn the basic principles of business in a hands-on, active way.