DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Where will the next generation of millionaire entrepreneurs come from? Students can’t educate and prepare in classes taught at the local middle school or high school levels. But a new program coming to Dallas is encouraging the creation of aspiring young business professionals. It’s kind of a “Lemonade Learning,” if you will.
“I think I’d like to start a business to help, like, abandoned dogs. So, I think this would sorta-kinda help me learn how to do it,” said youngster Jenna Hansen, who explained why she wants to be a part of Lemonade Day.
Hansen’s dog dream may be years away, but she and classmate Annie Walker have immediate plans to create a lemonade stand for National Lemonade Day. The event encourages the development of young entrepreneurs by providing them with workbooks and adult guides to create their own formula of lemonade. The children area also taught how to find backers, and then produce and sell their product. The sales will all take place on the same day.
“I think we’re going to learn about business tactics and how to create a good business and be successful in life with it,” Walker told CBS 11 News.
Students at Good Shepherd Episcopal hope to get their whole school involved.
Hansen figures a positive byproduct of the program will also benefit her in math class. “When you sell things, of course people have to pay for it. And you have to give them change. And this would help kids learn how to do that in a different, fun way.”
Successful adult entrepreneurs, including Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, announced that May 4 will be the inaugural Lemonade Day in Dallas, though the event took place in 35 other cities last year.
“It teaches kids that they can break down barriers between the haves and the have-nots,” Rawlings told a group of business professionals who came to hear the announcement. The Mayor also said the program could be an important tool in the ongoing Grow South initiative.
“The kids that grow up in poverty have just as much drive, just as much intelligence and just as much desire to make money as the kids that are in the ‘haves.’”
Rawlings agreed with Jenna Hansen and Annie Walker’s assessment of the importance of math skills. “They’re going to learn how important math is to making money in school. There’s a direct correlation: if you do well in math, young man, you make money — more than the kid that didn’t do well in math.”
There will also be a tasting competition April 27, and Restaurant guru Phil Romano — who will be one of the judges — is sweetening the pot. “The winner of this… we’re going to serve their lemonade in one of our restaurants for a year, get ’em going. And we’re going to pay a royalty, too,” he said.
The youngsters already have a business model to follow. The winner of a similar contest in Austin three years ago now has her lemonade bottled and sold at the Whole Foods grocery stores in that area.
Four aspiring young partners from the West Dallas Community School don’t yet have a plan, but they have already developed a brand to market.
“Sonny is my real name and in the summer it’s always sunny, so we sell lemonade during the summer — Sunny Lemonade,” Sonny Alaniz said, adding, “We’re going to keep it cold and fresh!”
Another of the young partners claims they already have their “end game” worked out, at least as far as any potential profits are concerned. “We’re going to give some for our school, give some to charity and keep most of it for ourselves!” Michael Salazar enthusiastically told CBS 11 News.
Now all the youngsters need is tutoring and experience.
Dallas-area sponsors hope to get as many as 1,000 youngsters involved.
Anyone interested can go to the Lemonade Day Greater Dallas website for more information.
Interested parties can also email Peggy Bessellieu, the Dallas City Director for Lemonade Day.
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