Featured Entrepreneur - Alpha Kappa Alpha
You open the double doors and proceed down a long, narrow walkway. Each step you take brings you closer to the judges, who hold the fate of your business. You start to rehearse in your head the script you created to sell your business to the “tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire.” Can you guess what experience I described? If you guessed the hot ABC show, Shark Tank, then you are correct.
The AKA Leaders of Tomorrow uses a similar style to sell their ideas for Lemonade Day. “Leaders of Tomorrow is a nationwide program that trains and mentors the next generation of effective leaders who will shape the future of business, politics, education and ministry. The organization is committed to character-based leadership development that will move young leaders from trends to setting them.” – Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
A couple of weeks prior to the event, the girls create their business plan using the Lemonade Day Entrepreneur Workbook. Melanie Jones, the group sponsor said, “There are several good activities in the workbook to help them.” The AKA Leaders of Tomorrow complete the worksheets before they present the plan to the members of their sorority in the Mu Theta Omega chapter in the Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members serve as the panelists for the Shark Tank experience. The Young Leaders have to present their estimated profit, how they will achieve their goal, what they are going to sell, how they are going to advertise and if they are going to wear a uniform for the event. Jones said, “Based on what they tell us determines whether or not the sorority will invest in their Lemonade Day stand. They did a wonderful job on their presentation, and the sorority gave them the start up money to have their stand.”
Sabrina Salvador, a member of the Leaders of Tomorrow said, “When we first did Lemonade Day, I never thought you would have to do so many things to be able to become an entrepreneur. You have to think about your investment, profit and advertisement.” The girls thought Shark Tank was a fun, unique way to sell an idea to their investors. They gained valuable experience through this process. Jayla Love, a member of the Leaders of Tomorrow said, “It was unique because I never really had that experience before. It was fun how they only gave us a certain amount of time to come up with an idea and present it.”
The kids are learning many different lessons, but each one takes away something different, making the experience unique to themselves. Jayla said, “You have to put in effort and set your mind to achieve your goal. To pass that goal is an even better feeling.” Sabrina described how it takes planning to become a successful entrepreneur. Sabrina said, “This is not something you can do over night, it takes time.” The girls liked working in the group to share their ideas to make the perfect sales pitch to their investors.
Jayla loved the moment when they sold everything at their stand! She was very social with customers about the products. The AKA Leaders of Tomorrow sold strawberry and regular lemonade, along with brownies and cookies. Sabrina enjoyed planning and coming up with ideas as a team. Sabrina said, “You come together on this one day and put your best effort into it.” The effort was shown when the girls won a Lemonade Day Most Successful Business Award.
There is always room for improvement. Even though the girls felt they did an awesome job, they saw an area where it could be better for next year. The girls agreed they need to build on their advertising. Sabrina said, “We should’ve advertised it more and had more baked goods,” since they sold out.
The girls had advice they wanted to share with past and future Lemonade Day entrepreneurs. Sabrina said, “They might not think they could reach a high goal, but you can as long as you put the effort into it.” Jayla said, “Keep that set goal in your head and never give up on it.”