Learning, lemons and leadership

It’s your business

Learning, lemons and leadership

By Adam Wason
A Bloomington voice
December 2, 2011

This coming year the community’s youth will have a new opportunity to learn the ropes of entrepreneurship. Lemonade Day is a fun, experiential learning program that teaches youth how to start, own and operate a business through the age-old model of the lemonade stand.

Started in Houston in 2007, Lemonade Day has grown to serve more than 120,000 kids in 31 cities across the United States and Canada. This city’s first day was Thursday with a grand kickoff event. The foremost objective is to empower youth to take ownership of their lives and become productive members of society as business leaders, social advocates, volunteers and forward-thinking leaders of tomorrow.

Bringing Lemonade Day to Bloomington is the result of a partnership between the Boys and Girls Club, the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College, and the city of Bloomington and Monroe County governments.

Community sponsors have already begun jumping on board. The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has been generous with grant support, as have the Coleman Foundation, Monroe County government and the city of Bloomington.

What do kids learn by participating in Lemonade Day? With a personal mentor or by participating in the community-wide training events, the kids are taken through a step-by-step curriculum of business operations, food safety and social responsibility.

They learn the basics of economics and financial literacy through the purchase of capital (the stand), managing supply and demand and earning a return on investment.

They learn about college-readiness through teamwork and problem-solving.

They also learn life skills and personal skill development through leadership training, self-direction, time management and philanthropy.

These lessons in business operations will culminate in the community-wide Lemonade Day on May 19, 2012. Lemonade stands will sprout up in neighborhoods, fire stations, city parks, churches and other locations throughout the community. By teaching kids these important lessons in entrepreneurship training, work force development begins at young age.

Your business can join in fostering the next great Bloomington entrepreneur. Sponsors, mentors, supporters and — most of all — lemonade consumers are welcome!

For more on Lemonade Day Bloomington, contact Adam Wason at wasona@bloomington.in.gov or 349-3418.

Adam Wason is assistant economic development director for small business for the city of Bloomington. Next week’s column will be from Jerry Conover of the IU business school.

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2011

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