On Lemonade Day, Kids Learn About Entrepreneurship and Fun at the Same Time

Opening a lemonade stand can teach kids plenty about entrepreneurship.Opening a lemonade stand seems like simple summer fun, a childhood rite of passage. But, according to seasoned entrepreneur Michael Holthouse, it can be so much more.

Related: 10 expert tips for running a successful lemonade stand

"There are so many life skills and character building elements" involved in opening your own lemonade stand, he told Yahoo! Shine. "We should have all of our kids learn about that."

Inspired by an afternoon spent running a lemonade stand with one of his daughters, Holthouse launched Lemonade Day six years ago. At the time, his daughter hoped to earn enough money to buy a pet turtle, but Holthouse recognized that their little business venture offered a chance to do much more.

"What happened that day was amazing," he says. "It was this beautiful day's worth of learning."

Holthouse's experience as an entrepreneur shaped his vision. A two-time winner of Inc. Magazine's 500 Fastest Growing Company award and an Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year, the father of four knows what it takes to get a business up and running -- and how kids can benefit from learning about it.

"It is important that we teach future generations the importance of responsible business practices and instill the entrepreneurial spirit at a young age - an age that allows them to have hope and vision to excel in the future," he says at lemonadeday.org. "Our goal is to reach kids as a critical stage in their lives - that time when they are at a crossroads between a very good or bad path."

This year, Lemonade Day falls on Saturday, May 5, though some communities have chosen to hold their own Lemonade Days at other times. Kids in 41 cities have registered to participate this year, with about 200,000 stands ready to serve sweet-tart refreshment to all and sundry. Last year, kids in Houston, Texas (where Lemonade Day launched), pulled in about $4 million -- and donated $1 million of it to charity. Holthouse would like to have 1 million kids running lemonade stands in 100 cities for Lemonade Day 2013.

"I think the beautiful part about Lemonade Day is that there are many, many lessons they're going to learn out of this," he says. Kids who register with the site are paired with an adult and given a 14-step plan to follow. The steps help them figure out everything from the best place to open the stand to how to price their product to how to handle branding and marketing.

Kids are encouraged to "spend a little, save a little, and share a little" Holthouse says, which gives the experience a great deal of real-world value.

Running their own business changes the way kids see the world, he points out. "Now, they're not just victims of it or participants in it, but they have the option to actually create it."

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc.




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