Lemonade stands teach young Alaskans business skills
Young entrepreneurs set up lemonade stands at around 870 locations across Alaska Saturday as part of a national initiative to equip today's youth to be the business leaders and social advocates of the future.
Lemonade Day first began in 2007 and has been in Alaska for a decade.
"Lemonade Day is about teaching students how to be entrepreneurs, as young as four all the way up through high school," said Emily Glasscock, Youth Entrepreneurship Vista at Alaska Small Business Development Center. "It's teaching them everything from making a business plan to coming up with product to talking with local business owners."
While the program focuses on helping students create a lemonade stand just on just one day, some students continue to use the skills they learned to grow their business.
Amiyah Horton and Aaliyah Pepper started Double A's Lemonade for last year's Lemonade Day and continued to operate their business throughout the summer. They've sold their product at farmer's markets and festivals and even do bulk orders.
Although their products were a hit at their stand outside of the Fred Meyer on Debarr Road on one of the hottest days of the year, the business lets the girls experience the hard work that goes into running a business.
"The hardest part is getting people to come, and if you're speaking too low, you have to speak louder," Aaliyah said.
"For me it would probably be the late nights trying to prepare everything for the next day and then waking up early, especially since its summer," Amiyah said. "At first it was just something to do for fun, but then once you start it up and you see how much people like it and they come, and then they're following us around to make sure they can come get some, you really have to make sure you have everything for your supplies. And the money's not just going to you, you have to share it through different sources."
Although every student who sets up a stand gets to keep the profits, they are encouraged to repay parents or investors who helped cover start up costs, save for the future and invest in their business.
"That's definitely something we learned about the money. It's not just going to us," Aaliyah said.
Anyone wishing to get involved with Lemonade Day can learn more about the program