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Dec31st2012

Lessons from the Lemonade Stand: New Year goals and mentorship

Each New Year presents goals we set to attain greater success. Business success is one of the most common goals set by adults each year, but thousands of youth entrepreneurs set these same business goals for themselves, only to find there is no support to help their small business dreams become realized.

America’s youth are constantly told that education is the key to their future business success, but young people often do not experience the practices and principles that lead to business success until after their formal education is completed. What if children could learn about business by owning their own small business? What if their business education was a part of their school course work? And what if they could be guided through putting small business ownership principles into practice by a supportive adult – either a parent, educator or other family or community member – who could be their mentor?

Lemonade Day is a free, experiential learning program that allows children from age 3 to 18 to create, own and operate their own small business: a Lemonade stand. Over 150,000 children take part in the Lemonade Day movement across the country. The iconic American “store front” for cool drinks on a hot day is changing the trajectory of the lives of America’s youth through their participation. Either individually or through their schools if they are part of one of the several school systems that teach the Lemonade Day curriculum as part of a math or social studies class, youth business ownership is changing lives.

The Lemonade Day motto is spend a little, save a little, share a little. Spend a little after working hard by enjoying the purchasing power of your work; save a little by opening a bank account with some of your Lemonade Day earnings and see how the banking process works; and share a little by being a good corporate citizen and giving back to a non-profit in your local community.

This year, Lemonade Day and their new national innovation partner, Google, issued a Million Mentor Challenge. The Challenge was made to encourage one million adults to become mentors for one million youth entrepreneurs who are excited to learn about small business ownership, and will operate their own Lemonade stand on May 5, 2013: National Lemonade Day. Mentors pledge to guide a child in their life through their process of putting the 14 business principles of the Lemonade Day program into practice.

The 14 core Lemonade Day principles as well as other important business principles, will be shared in this column by leaders from corporate America, moms whose children have joined the Lemonade Day movement, young Lemonade Day participants whose businesses are thriving, and some of America’s most successful entrepreneurs. All will share how a core business principle shaped their success.

Go to LemonadeDay.org to learn more about the program and our many sponsors who are some of America’s leading brands and organizations. Join Lemonade Day in your city, join individually if it’s not yet in your city, or learn how to bring the program to your city; or you can take the Million Mentor pledge and find out how to help lead a young person to small business success.

The New Year presents a path that is waiting to be laid with dreams. At Lemonade Day, we’re in the business of seeing the small business dreams of America’s youth are realized. Principle number one is mentorship: it works! Build a stand or spark a dream today.

Lemonade Day is a 14 step process that walks youth from a dream to a business plan, while teaching them the principles to start any successful company of any size. Learn more at www.LemonadeDay.org

By JULIE EBERLY

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