Lemonade Day Teaches Business Savvy To Young Entrepreneurs

By Esther Hackleman, Esther Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Texas

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) I love the concept of "Lemonade Day." The simple idea of having kids open Lemonade stands to teach business skills has gained ground over the past few years as communities organize "official" lemonade day programs. In Corpus Christi Texas, the learning program formally teaches kids how to become entrepreneurs through cooperation skills and marketing techniques. I am sure there are more than a few future women in business out there who will one day remember this as a terrific introduction to the world of entrepreneurship!

Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Texas

Rachel Recio and her two sisters woke up at 4 a.m. to gather the elements they needed for the grand opening of their small business. They hauled their merchandise, signs and booth decorations that transformed their lemonade stand to a makeshift tiki bar on the Bayfront.

The trio's 9-hour establishment was one of about 600 businesses that sprouted in the Coastal Bend during the fourth annual Lemonade Day. Each year, the learning program teaches kids how to become entrepreneurs, and about 2,100 children stretched their business savvy, cooperation skills and marketing techniques during this year's program.

The Recio girls learned a fundamental for their first start up: Location is key. The young business owners raised about $130 from 6 a.m. to noon by selling their lemonade blend -- a concoction of powdered lemonade, fresh-squeezed juice and a hint of mint -- to March of Dimes participants and downtown walkers.

"At first, we weren't selling at all, and it was disappointing," 14-year-old Rachel Recio said. "But it started picking up, and we were happy."

Across town, Zoey Gutierrez, 6, of Girl Scout Troop 96026, may have been half the age of the Recio girls, but her two years of Lemonade Day experience gave her an advantage.

The 13 scouts set up in the La Palmera mall food court entrance and took shifts, standing with signs, handling the money and pouring lemonade for customers.

"We got to make signs and sell lemonade," Zoey said. "It's a lot of fun."

Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez stopped by La Palmera to offer her support to the young entrepreneurs. Boy Scout Troop 6 set up a stand near J.C. Penney and pack of Cub Scouts sold lemonade near the Great American Cookies store.

This year, participants faced an added challenge with the boil water notice that took effect Friday night. But they were quick to resolve that issue, Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Paige Kimball said.

"(The kids) learned you always have to be prepared and ready to switch things up," Kimball said. "They did a really good job of going with it and being flexible."

Leana Hinojosa and her two business partners from Metro Prep at Miller High School learned how to adapt by assessing the situation and reaching out to one of their moms who worked at Walmart to secure 40 gallons of water for their stand in the main hallway in the West Court at La Palmera.

"We contacted some people," 13-year-old Leana said, as her two business partners nodded in agreement. "You just go with it and improvise. That's how we learn."

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