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Lemonade Stands Really Do Make a Difference

Did you know that kids all over the world start and run lemonade stands to raise money for something they believe in?

I’m sure you have read articles or have seen news stories of young entrepreneurs running lemonade stands for the recent hurricane and earthquake victims but I bet you didn’t know that kids are running lemonade stands every week to make a difference.  You are probably questioning how I can I possibly know this? Since I started E-seedling to cultivate tomorrow’s entrepreneurs in 2015 (you can learn more about the e-seedling story at www.eseedling.com), one of my daily Google Alerts is set up for lemonade stands. I created and started using a lemonade stand team competition activity in 2008 for the youth entrepreneur camp I direct and run for middle school students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  It has become the favorite activity in the camp and the learning was tremendous that I quickly realized the power a lemonade stand and become hooked (Check out my book More Than a Lemonade Stand for more information on the activity and the camp).

“Every day I see what kids are doing to help others and make a difference via lemonade stands.”

At first, I posted one a week on my More Than a Lemonade Stand Facebook page but quickly realized it was very hard to pick just one.  So it dawned on me that featuring the concept as a whole, some of the organizations that focus on utilizing lemonade stands as a model for learning and making a difference and some of the unique ways kids have used them to make a difference would be a good way to support lemonade stands and young entrepreneurs.

3 Organizations that use Lemonade Stands to Make a Difference:

  • Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer is a non-profit organization founded by Alex Scott and her family. Alex was diagnosed at age 1 with cancer and at age 4 announced she wanted to start a lemonade stand to raise funds for the doctors and the hospital that were helping her with her cancer so they could help other kids too.  By age 8 in 2004, when she passed, she had raised $2,000 for her hospital.  The foundation is her legacy and has continued with the help of her family to raise money for childhood cancer. Their website https://www.alexslemonade.org/ states that they have raised more than $150 million funding over 800 pediatric cancer research projects nationally.
  • Lemonade Day was founded in Houston, Texas in 2007 by Michael Holthouse, a successful entrepreneur. It has grown from 2,700 kids in Houston to over 1 million children in North America. Lemonade Day has a series of lessons that teach kids how to start and run a business which culminates in the running a lemonade stand in their community on lemonade day. The program promotes and inspires kids to work hard, make a profit, spend some, save some and share some by giving back to their community. You can learn more at: https://lemonadeday.org/
  • At the heart of the E-seedling youth entrepreneur experiential curriculum is the lemonade stand team competition to raise money for the program’s scholarship fund. Starting in 2015, The More Than a Lemonade Stand curriculum teaches young entrepreneurs ages 10 and up how to choose a business idea, start their own business, learn business basics and run a real business (the lemonade stand). It does this through hands-on experiential learning including games, guest entrepreneurs, field trips, presentations and the lemonade stand team competition. The curriculum is currently used by 30 schools and organizations worldwide. You can learn more at http://eseedling.com/

 

Some of the causes that kids are running lemonade stands for:

-Hurricane Victims
-Earthquake Victims
-Cancer Victims & Research
-Classmate’s School Lunch Debt
-Diabetes Research
-Nonprofit Organizations in their area
-Friends and families in their area dealing with a crisis
-Toys for kids whose families can’t afford them

I think the greatest thing about Lemonade Stands is that it is a simple way for kids to have fun, learn something and make a difference all at the same time.  Kids really want to make a difference and almost everyone has been affected to some degree by the causes above. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon then to start a lemonade stand!

Julie Ann Wood has been teaching young entrepreneurs for the past 10 years by using experiential learning activities including the More Than  a Lemonade Stand curriculum to teach entrepreneurship and life skills, the Biz Ops Game to teach business operations and the Team Lemonade Stand to teach collaboration, teamwork, creativity, and business. For more information visit www.eseedling.com

I have an Aspiring Entrepreneur – now what?

You have an aspiring entrepreneur in your house or classroom; the one setting up a lemonade stand and sitting out in the front yard until dark or the one that is making bracelets and selling them to their friends at school or the one that is always asking their neighbors if they can take care of their pets.  So how do you keep that entrepreneurial fire burning?  Here are some tips on how to get started!

  1. Choose a business idea. If they haven’t chosen a specific business idea, they should chose and commit to one. You can’t start learning about how to start and run a business until you actually do it. If they need inspiration help them think about their interests, what they’ve learned and what they like to do in their spare time.
  2. Determine the goal. Once they come up with an idea, have them come up with a goal. Is it just to have fun? Is it to earn money for something they want to buy? Is it to learn more about business and finances?  Whatever it is, have them write it down and be specific.  The more specific it is, the more likely they are to accomplish it.
  3. Create a plan. Once they have their idea and a goal, they need a plan on how to get there. They will need action steps to take to achieve their goal. These can be such things as how many people do I need to contact, how many products do I need to make, etc.
  4. What is the budget. They will need items to start-up their business and make their product or provide their service. Do they have money already saved up or will they need to borrow money from you? Have them put together a list of what they need and the costs so they can figure out how to get the money they need.
  5. Legal Stuff. They already have your approval but before putting it into action, you may need to check if any legal permits are needed. Each state, city & town has their own rules so it is always a good idea to check and see what is required. There may be free or reduced legal resources at your local business center or university or college so you might want to check on that.
  6. Just Do It! Most entrepreneurs learn while running their business and since entrepreneurship is about taking action, there is no better way. Be sure to keep track of your expenses, sales and what is working and not working. That way you can keep doing what works and make changes as needed.

Being an entrepreneur is a rewarding experience and I can’t think of a more fun way to learn and earn money during the summer!

Want more resources to help your aspiring entrepreneur? Here are a few to check out:

LINK to Amazon, You’re Never too Young to Start a Business e-book (with downloadable worksheets)

LINK to YouTube Mini-Lesson Monday’s for Young Entrepreneurs

LINK to more Information on Summer Youth Entrepreneur Camps in Madison, WI

If you would like to know more about how to bring youth entrepreneurship to your area contact Julie Wood at juliewood@eseedling.com or visit eseedling.com 

youth Entrepreneur Camp Eseedling

Make Memories at Camp This Summer!

youth Entrepreneur Camp Eseedling

More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camp

Did you love camp when you were a kid? (I sure did!).

I loved staying in a tent or cabin, slurping slushies, singing fun songs, making s’mores around the campfire and learning all kinds of new things by experiencing them first hand.  I loved it so much I became a 4-H camp counselor when I was a teen and then spent many hours volunteering at Scout Camps as an adult. Now, I am so fortunate that I get to direct and teach youth entrepreneur camps each summer.

Camps are a great way for kids to experience and learn things they may not have the opportunity to in school.

Entrepreneurship is a prime example of this. The great thing about an entrepreneurship camp is that kids not only learn about business; they get to learn about their own passions and talents and how they can make a difference in the world. Many kids who don’t do well sitting at a desk all day, thrive in a camp environment. It increases their self-confidence and they actually get excited about learning.

In the More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camps kids come up with a business idea that they work on all week and can actually implement once they leave the camp. They learn business operations, teamwork and collaboration by playing the Biz Ops Game™, they run a real lemonade stand business to raise funds for the camp scholarship fund and they give business presentations.  The week is packed with experiential learning activities in a fun environment.

Many kids say that “it was so fun that I didn’t even feel like I was learning”.

This excerpt from the American Camp Association Website expresses the benefits of camp:

At camp, when children make new friends, explore the world around them, and learn that “I can” is much more powerful than “I can’t”, magic happens. In an environment created just for them, children learn real life skills, develop self-esteem, and gain a sense of independence and community. Whether children are playing, exploring nature, conquering new heights, or becoming part of a camp family, they are creating memories that will last a lifetime – See more at: http://www.acacamps.org/campers-families/because-camp#sthash.44KAY3o4.dpuf

It’s never too early to starting looking for camps in your area (I’m amazed that many camps are nearly full by May 1st).

There are camps of every subject possible so there is bound to be something that your kids are interested in. (The American Camp Association website is one place you can check for camps in your area www.acacamps.org).

What I really like about Youth Entrepreneur Camps is that the camper chooses their own business idea based on their unique strengths, interests and talents so it fits everyone!

To Check out the More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camps in Madison, WI this summer CLICK HERE.

Don’t have a Youth Entrepreneur Camp in your area – contact juliewood@eseedling.com to see how you can get one going!

7 Steps to Get Your Kids Started as a Young Entrepreneur

                      

Parents with kids

Parents with kids

                                                                                                                                                 1. Choose a business idea. Kids can’t start learning about how to start a business if they don’t have an idea. Have them think about their hobbies, interests, what they’ve learned, what they have experience in, what they’re good at what they like to do in your spare time and then choose one or two ideas to move forward with.

2. Test your idea with potential customers. Entrepreneurs take risks but they can limit how much risk they take by testing their ideas. Have them ask potential customers, and friends and family questions about their ideas. They can start with whether or not it is a good solution to the problem they are solving and would they pay money for it. Then be sure to narrow it down to one idea to work on.

3. Create a memorable brand and plan marketing & sales activities. A brand is what a prospect or customer thinks of or feels when they hear the business name or see their logo, marketing materials or store. Once they create their brand they need to plan how to get the word out. This will be determined by budget where customers are located.

4. List what is needed to start the business and figure out the costs. Start-Up Items are the items needed to start a business. Some examples of start-up items include office supplies and equipment, website, and tools to make the product or provide the service.  Then they will then need to figure out a price for the product or service based on costs, competition and earlier testing of the idea to potential customers.

5. Keep Customers Happy. Once there are customers, they need to make sure they keep them happy! The cost to get a new customer is much higher than selling to an existing customer. Happy customers will be the best resource for getting new customers. Have them make a plan for staying in contact with their customers and making sure they are happy.

6. Parent Approval and Legal Stuff. If you aren’t the parent reading this, make sure they check with their parents to make sure that the business idea is okay to put into action. Also check to see if any legal permits are needed. Each state, city & town has their own rules so it is always a good idea to check and see what is required. There may be free or reduced legal resources at your local business center or university or college so you might want to check on that.

7. Create a Plan. Now that the business idea figured out, have them create a plan that will guide them. A marketing plan for how they are going to get the word out and an operational plan for business activities. The two plans will work together to help them schedule their time and resources.

These 7 steps will give kids a great start for getting their business going. If you would like to order a complete Step-by-Step guide including free downloadable worksheets. My e-book You’re Never Too Young to Start a Business is available on Amazon.com. CLICK HERE to ORDER If you would like more information on cultivating young entrepreneurs, visit eseedling.com and sign up for our email list for additional tips, discounts and announcements.

Bio: Julie Ann Wood is the author of More Than a Lemonade Stand and Creator of the Biz Ops Game™. She has been teaching young entrepreneurs since 2008 and created the More Than a Lemonade Stand curriculum for young entrepreneurs to help others teach youth entrepreneurship without reinventing the wheel!

Girl Looking at Goldfish

What do Mini-Lessons & Goldfish Have in Common?

Girl Looking at Goldfish

Girl Looking at Goldfish

Mini-Lesson Mondays for Young Entrepreneurs – Are they the wave of the future?

You may have heard that the focus of a human being has been compared to that of a goldfish.

In a recent article by a colleague of mine, Jenna Atkinson, in our local business magazine (In Business Magazine) quoted that  Time magazine published an article called, “You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish.” It reported on how an increasingly digital lifestyle has reduced the average person’s attention span from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds in 2015.

The average attention span of a goldfish? Nine seconds. Scary right?! 

Then a few months ago, I read an article in HR magazine about how micro-learning is becoming more popular.  The article discusses a company that uses 4 minute videos to teach concepts and the employees can come back and view them as needed.

And then I began to think about my own attention span – I am currently taking an Internet Marketing course that is broken down into small segments of reading and video.  Each lesson’s content is no longer than a few minutes.  In addition to short quizzes, they give you an assignment based on the content you just learned so you can apply it. I really like this type of learning, I can fit it in when I have a few minutes and can come back to it when I need it.

That is why I decided to create Mini-Lessons for Young Entrepreneurs.  Each Monday, I post a short video on my YouTube channel with a new mini-lesson that will help young entrepreneurs come up with a business idea, business name and help them get it up and running.  The videos are short with the majority of them being less than 3 minutes long and each one gives a short assignment to write in their ‘entrepreneur notebook’. If you haven’t checked it out yet, Click HERE for the Mini-Lesson Monday for Young Entrepreneurs Playlist.

I would love to hear what topics you are interested in for Mini-Lesson Monday so please share your ideas by commenting below or emailing me at juliewood@eseedling.com

Entrepreneur Theatre Life Skills

5 Life Skills that Entrepreneurship and Theater Teach

Entrepreneur Theatre Life Skills

Entrepreneur & Theater = Life Skills

Last week I finished directing a production of Fame Jr with my son Ryan at our local community theater group. As I reflect back on the experience, I realize that both entrepreneurship and theater have a lot in common  when it comes to the life skills they teach.  Here are 5 life skills, that I came up with, that both entrepreneurship and theater teach.

  1. Passion and Natural Talents: Entrepreneurship is all about finding what you love to do and using it to solve problems and make a difference. Musical Theater kids have a passion for acting, dancing, singing or all 3 and they are using their natural talent to make a difference in people’s lives by taking their minds off of the everyday issues even if it is only for an hour or two.
  2. Time Management: Running a business takes an enormous amount of time and it requires good time management skills to make sure homework & chores are done, other commitments are completed and that there is still time to work on a business. Ditto for theater; it is a huge time commitment and it requires time management to get it all done.
  3. Commitment: Being an entrepreneur requires commitment to working on your business idea even when it gets tough. A commitment to your solution or cause will help you make it through but in order for it to work in the long run; you must be committed to it. Again theater is a commitment, it takes a lot of hours to put on a quality production. There is always waiting at rehearsal for your scene; you must be committed to the role you accept.
  4. Communication: Entrepreneurs must be able to communicate clearly what their product or service is and what the benefits are in order to sell to their customer. You must also be able to communicate with partners and mentors so they can help you grow your business. Whether you are on stage in the cast or off stage in the production staff, you must be able to communicate with the audience to get your message across and with each other to create a successful performance.
  5. Teamwork: Entrepreneurs cannot do it alone; they need to use their strengths in the most effective ways in order to grow their business without being overwhelmed by everything that has to be done. You need to find a team that can fill in where you aren’t strong to help you accomplish what needs to be done. A good theater performance is the ultimate team-based business model. It requires each person to know their role, focus on it and complete it when it needs to be done. There is a high level of trust that develops in a theater group and it becomes almost like a second family.

I am sure there are more life skills that both entrepreneurship and theater teach and so I would love to hear from you in the comments (or you can email me at juliewood@eseedling.com): Which life skills do you feel are taught in entrepreneurship and theater or another activity that you are involved with?

As always, please feel free to contact me at juliewood@eseedling.com or complete the contact us form on www.eseedling.com .  And as we say in theater, hope to see you at the next auditions!

 

 

 

 

videos for young entrepreneurs

My Fave 5 Videos for teaching Young Entrepreneurs

videos for young entrepreneurs

movie theatre marquee

Everyone loves a good video, especially kids!  It’s always amazing to me that they can be somewhat loud and rambunctious and then a video comes on and voila; it’s like magic – they are mesmerized by the world of video, they pay attention and soak it in! That is why when I teach young entrepreneurs (adults seem to like them too), I interweave video with teaching and activities to make for a fun and effective learning environment.  Since I’m getting ready for the summer camp season, I thought I would share my top 5 videos for teaching young entrepreneurs.

 

  1. Entrepreneurs Can Change the World by Grasshopper, The Entrepreneurs Phone Company. (grasshopper.com) https://youtu.be/T6MhAwQ64c0 This video is a great introduction for a discussion on what an entrepreneur is, what they do and how they can make a difference.
  2. Channel One News Teen Entrepreneurs Wrap Up from Channelone.com. https://youtu.be/11bOrQG3xMw . This video is a great intro into the students choosing their own business idea.  It talks about passion, other businesses and the benefits of starting a business as a young entrepreneur.  Channel One News has lots of great information for teens and teachers can use many of the episodes as a fun classroom discussion starter.
  3. Saturday Night Live’s Pizza Eater Video with Melissa McCarthy. http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/pizza-business/n35040 Melissa McCarthy goes to the bank to get a loan for her new business. This humorous video works great as an example for learning the business model canvas.  In addition to being funny it shows that there is one huge flaw in her business idea (how to make revenue). After watching the video, work on the business model canvas as a group and fill in the building blocks based on the pizza eater business.  Here’s more information on the business model canvas if you are not familiar with it: http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas/bmc
  4. Lemonaire: Youngest Entrepreneur from Umpqua Bank https://youtu.be/5d2V1LYNBeE .This is my all-time favorite video that I use when teaching young entrepreneurs. It was created by Umpqua Bank as a marketing video but includes so many lessons for teaching young entrepreneurs. It works great to use at the beginning of running a team lemonade stand. It’s great to use for a discussion of a business model, how to get money, how to plan and what can happens when things don’t go as planned.
  5. The Home Run from Liberty Mutual (the responsibility project) https://youtu.be/C-3QCgVDQGw . This is a true story of a girl’s baseball team and what happens with the team to win the game. It is a great example of ethics and sportsmanship and works well to start a discussion on business ethics and rules.
  6. BONUS: Life After Death by Powerpoint 2012 by Don McMillan https://youtu.be/MjcO2ExtHso. This is a humorous video is a great example of what not to do in Powerpoint.  If the kids are going to do a presentation this will start a discussion on what you should do. The reason this is not in my top 5 is that it does include the word “hell” and it might not be appropriate for younger kids.

Now it’s your turn – I would love to hear what your favorite videos for teaching young entrepreneurs!  Please share and comment below. 

For more resources on teaching young entrepreneurs visit eseedling.com

What is the Biz Ops Game?

I often get asked what exactly is the Biz Ops Game?  Here is a short video to explain what it is, how it works and what it teaches.

 

 

Young Entrepreneur Lemonade Stand

7 Steps to Start a Kid Business

  1. Young Entrepreneur Lemonade Stand

    7 Steps to Start a kid biz

    Choose a business idea. You can’t start learning about how to start a business if you don’t have an idea. Think about hobbies, interests, what you’ve learned, what you have experience in, what you’re good at what you like to do in your spare time.

  2. Test your idea with potential customers. Entrepreneurs take risks but you can limit how much risk you take by testing your ideas. Ask customers, prospects, friends and family questions about your idea. You can start with whether or not it is a good solution to the problem you are solving and would they pay money for it.
  3. Create a memorable brand and plan your marketing & sales activities. A brand is what your prospect or customer thinks of or feels when they hear your name, see your logo, marketing materials or store. Once you create your brand you need to plan how to get the word out. This will be determined by where your customers are located.
  4. List what you need to start your business and how much money you need to get started. Start-Up Items are the items you need to have before you can start your business. Some examples of start-up items include office supplies and equipment, website, and tools to make your product or provide your service. You may also need to buy some inventory or supplies to make your products. You probably won’t have fixed costs such as rent but it’s good to be aware that these costs exist also. You will then need to figure out a price for your product or service based on costs, competition and your earlier testing.
  5. Keep your Customers Happy. Once you have customers, you need to make sure you keep them happy! The cost to get a new customer is much higher than selling to an existing customer. Happy customers will be your best resource for getting new customers (what is called Word of Mouth Marketing). You will want to make sure you have a plan for staying in contact with your customers and making sure they are happy.
  6. Parent Approval and Legal Stuff. Before going any further, you should always check with your parents to make sure that your business idea is okay to put into action and also check on if any legal permits are needed. Each state, city & town has their own rules so it is always a good idea to check and see what is required. There may be free or reduced legal resources at your local business center or university or college so you might want to check on that.
  7. Create a Plan. Now that you have your business idea figured out, you need to have a plan that will guide you. You need a marketing plan for how you are going to get the word out and an operational plan for business activities. The two plans will work together to help you schedule your time and resources. All of the hard work you have done already will go into a plan – this chapter will help you put it all together so you are ready to go!

These 7 steps will give you a good start for getting a business going. If you would like a complete Step-by-Step guide including free downloadable worksheets. My new e-book You’re Never too Young to Start A Business is available for only $2.99 on Amazon.com. CLICK HERE to ORDER If you would like more information on cultivating young entrepreneurs, visit eseedling.com and sign up for our e-newsletter.