Budgeting, marketing and running a business may be tough skills to learn but 6-year-old Brandon is learning it all one step at a time by participating in National Lemonade Day on May 1.
Lemonade Day is a program launched by the non-profit Prepared 4 Life. The group's leader Michael Holthouse created the annual event to teach kids about entrepreneurship, according to the event's website lemonadeday.org. The program was first launched in 2007 in Houston as a community event. Now the program is nationwide with a goal of one million lemonade stands by 2013.
In Arizona, only Glendale is an official participating city but Tanya Schuler, Brandon's mom, hopes that after Brandon participates this year they'll be able to bring Lemonade Day to Ahwatukee Foothills in years to come.
"I think it's great," Tanya said. "It basically teaches children to become their own business owner. They own their own lemonade stand. They have to go through all these steps that they provide you with. It's just an amazing journey for them to go through."
This year Brandon doesn't have too big of plans. He'll set up a small card table with a yellow table cloth out at the southeast corner of Desert Foothills Parkway and Chandler Boulevard from noon to 4 p.m. Signs will direct drivers to his location.
Glendale hosted a training day for the future entrepreneurs at Thunderbird School of Global Management. Brandon learned all about how to make healthy lemonade, purchasing, advertising, marketing, budgeting, setting goals and giving back. The kids were taught to spend some, give some and save some.
Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from each lemonade stand on lemonade day will go to the Red Cross to help Japan. Twenty-five percent will go to the participant's school. Twenty-five percent will go to the participant's college fund and the last 25 percent will go to the stand's expenses and to the actual participant. Brandon hopes he'll earn enough to buy a toy garbage truck.
"I think it would be really good for him," Tanya said. "It'll help him to come out of his shell a little bit and learn about managing money. He can learn that money is not just going to be given to him in real life. He has to earn his money."
Lemonade Day is open to anyone. Their website, lemonadeday.org, has resources and tools to make opening up a stand easy. So far Glendale is the only city in Arizona participating but they're setting an example for other cities to follow. Glendale has a program for teens and a separate one for kids. They provide workbooks, training and a place to sell if participants can't find a business that will allow them to set up outside. They're also hosting a lemonade tasting contest with Diamondback tickets as the prize.
"Children that participate in Lemonade Day do it for various reasons," Tanya said. "Learning about earning money to pay for things, learning about money management, spending quality time with a significant person or simply participating in Lemonade Day for personal growth reasons. For Brandon this year, it' to help him overcome his social anxieties and help him build self confidence."
Brandon's goal is simple. He has set a goal to look each person in the eye and thank them with a smile after they purchase a glass of lemonade. There's that goal - and the toy garbage truck.
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