The Herald-Times

Kids get a taste of business
Lemonade Day project teaches entrepreneurship to youth

By Dawn Hewitt
331-4377 |

June 19, 2011

Kids selling lemonade at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market and A Taste of Bloomington on Saturday had one goal in mind: turning a profit.

Their booth was part of the nationwide Lemonade Day initiative, which teaches entrepreneurial skills to youth. Participants across the country set up for-profit lemonade stands for Lemonade Day, but Saturday’s booth in front of City Hall was a pilot project, intended to generate awareness of and interest in the program for next year’s event.

Partners for the local project included the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington, the Bloomington Economic and Sustainable Development Department, Monroe County, the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington and Girls Inc. of Monroe County.

The curriculum for the program requires participants to develop a business plan, apply for a vendor permit, even borrow money and hire staff if necessary.

The young entrepreneurs can use the profits however they want, although the program also teaches about repaying loans, saving money and philanthropy.

Steve Bryant, executive director of the Cook center, said when he was a kid, he had a lemonade stand.

“I was dumb enough to set mine up in a cul-de-sac,” limiting his customer base to the mailman, the garbage man and a few neighbors, he said.

Bryant said the local event will be bigger next year, with lemonade stands across the city and maybe even throughout the region.

Indianapolis had 10,000 kids enrolled in Lemonade Day earlier this spring, he said.

Jeff Baldwin, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, said local kids spent an hour or sometimes two per week for six weeks learning how to set up and run a lemonade business.

Lemonade seller Katrina Tann said the first thing she’ll do with her share is to repay money loaned to her to help build the business. And with the net profit: “I have this dream to be fabulously rich someday, so I’ll save it in my piggy bank.”

Stephanie Mokube agreed that she’ll repay her loans first, then donate a portion to the Boys and Girls Club and save the rest.

Katrina said sales were good Saturday at the market despite early morning rain, but she hadn’t stopped to count her take while hawking the product.

Stephanie said involvement in the project taught her many things, including that loans are usually repaid with interest, and that “it’s more expensive than I thought to make lemonade.”

Young entrepreneurs Lance Green-Hogue and Isaac VanDeventer manned the booth, supplying full cups of fresh-squeezed lemonade to Stephanie and Katrina, who worked the farmers’ market crowd.

They agreed sales for the morning were good, and both boys planned to save their profits.

More on Lemonade Day

For more on the Lemonade Day organization, see

Customers Aaron Sheldon and Simone Sheldon buy lemonade from Lance Green and Isaac VanDeventer at the Boys and Girls Club Lemonade Shop Saturday morning outside Bloomington City Hall. Dawn Hewitt | Herald-Times

Copyright: 2011