When your life gives you lemons, turn it into a summer job

Creating a lemonade stand is the perfect opportunity to experience hands-on entrepreneurship and develop some financial education skills on a sunny summer day.

Our 32nd President, Franklin Roosevelt once said, “It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” So, why not give a lemonade stand a try for National Lemonade Day?  Lemonade Day-Detroit takes place on Saturday June 8, 2013. 

As the weather warms, kids want to spend more time outside.  According to Michigan State University Extension, starting a lemonade stand is the perfect opportunity to experience hands-on entrepreneurship and develop some financial education skills on a sunny summer day.

There are numerous life skills that can be obtained from the development of a lemonade stand.  Starting, owning and operating a business are key parts in this endeavor. Youth of all ages will benefit in learning about setting goals, branding and marketing, building product knowledge, engaging in customer service and practicing the art of sales.  

Acquiring personal financial skills is essential not only for adults, but for youth as well. Managing and establishing a modest business, like a lemonade stand, can be enlightening for any entrepreneur.  As part of a lemonade stand business, youth will learn about creating a budget, determining a break-even point, profit and loss as well as how to handle money.  Learning to develop a business plan and learning as you go are important factors in any facet of business and epitomizes experiential learning.

To engage youth in learning life skills in all phases of a lemonade stand, adults can use the experiential learning model used in 4-H Youth Development Programs. Using this model, youth will not only experience the activity, but have an opportunity to reflect on their experience and identify ways they can apply it in life.  According to associate professors, Marilyn N. Norman and Joy C. Jordan, from University of Florida Extension, “experiences lead to learning if the participant understands what happened, sees patterns of observations, generalizes from those observations and understands how to use the generalization again in a new situation.”

MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development supports youth entrepreneurship using the experiential learning model in their curriculum, resources and workshops.  To learn more youth entrepreneurship resources available through MSU Extension go to the youth entrepreneurship page.

If you are interested in developing a stand in your neighborhood with friends or family, it is not too late to register. By registering for this year’s Lemonade Day, you can pick up a free back-pack filled with information to get you started in the lemon business.

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