So much …… I have the philosophy that it is never too early to educate and encourage entrepreneurship.
This simple exercise of setting up a lemonade stand business is a little cliched granted but this sunny day activity really is full of life lessons.
Simply, it teaches children the very essence of business – take a raw material, applying some science or knowledge to it, add value and develop your idea into a real, money making venture.
Experiential learning can be the hardest kind to do for a parent or teacher – it’s the most time consuming and labour intensive – but the impact is exponential.
The philosophies the children apply to the lemonade stand can be applied to any new business venture big and small and life in general.
It Will Be Worth It…….. Here’s Why
- From the most obvious standpoint – it provides children with simple and straightforward conversations about business – it gets them familiar with business concepts and simple new vocabulary like revenue, margins, expenses and profits. This is something in today’s world a lot of adults are a little uncertain of.
- It can teach children the value of money from a very early age – this is one of the most vital life-lessons any parent can teach their child. Using their ingenuity to “raise funds”, being persuasive in getting ‘backers’, learning to stand up for what they worked hard to create, budgeting and spending wisely.
- Making mistakes, failing and doing it all over again just better next time is another valuable lesson from this fun summer project. Does every business in the world make it, NO !! Some lemon stands will be a roaring success and others well, they might end bitterly but this is what you file as ‘tough love’. We all need a bit of it sometimes and no better stage than childhood to introduce it on a very innocent, low impact level to kids. It teaches them it’s ok not to get things right first time round – resilience is so important. They need to develop an understanding that in life you need to ‘pick yourself up, dust yourself off and make the next project even better’.
- They begin to understand the ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy may not be as true or as easy as they wish. Determination and creativity are required to really make a success of things. Most things of value in life are hard-earned and this is a super way to get this message to kids first hand.
- There are also a huge range of valuable social and emotional skills developed through this activity – self belief, self confidence, inter-personal skills, spontaneity, agile thinking, motivation and perseverance to name but a few are all experienced and most importantly remembered. When a child feels and experiences, those memories and lesson stay with them.
- Managing expectations is another huge benefit of building a lemonade stand with your kids or students. As we all know kids ‘want, want, want’ and in most cases their requests are almost justified. They are surrounded by consumerism every moment of every day and in some cases they find it difficult to understand as parents why we can’t or won’t give them what they want all the time. Ultimately, in doing this project kids set goals, very high goals which can be very unattainable. This business venture allows them to appreciate how much work actually goes into producing and selling something to earn the amount of money they need to buy what they want. Consequently, this gives them some form of realistic context when they ask for a new x box one x and pair of Yeezy trainers all in the one week and we have to say no !
There are some super programmes being ran in primary schools all across Ireland so perhaps it might be one to recommend to the Parents Association, Principal or Class Teacher in September. Check out Bank of Ireland BizWorld or the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.
Alternatively, if you are a teacher – here at Foodoppi we are offering two Department of Education Approved Teacher CPD summer courses – one which includes a module on Making Homemade Lemonade & setting up a food business as part of our Making STEM Fun in the Classroom and the other is Creative Food Education.
Better yet, as a parent take one of those rare and random days off work this summer, have a little staycation and teach your kids how to be the next Richard Branson or Oprah Winfrey.