By TAYLOR ROBINSON
As June 6 approaches, children and their families are brainstorming the perfect business plan for a lemonade stand in anticipation of Washtenaw Community College’s Lemonade Day, hosted by the Entrepreneurship Center.
The workshop provided on May 20 gives young children the opportunity to learn how to be an entrepreneur and market their product. Included are 10 steps ranging from setting personal goals to actually running their ideal business.
“That’s how a lot of us had our first foray into work or anything, was a paper route or lemonade stand,” said Kim Hurns, dean of the business and computer technology division at WCC. “It’s basically about getting young people involved and thinking like entrepreneurs,” Hurns said.
The college is partnering with surrounding businesses, Hurns said, to set up lemonade stands in front of restaurants and stores.
“The hardest part for families is finding a good location,” she said.
Children who have found a good location have made up to $800 during past Lemonade Days.
During the Entrepreneurship Center workshops, children will learn the “Four basic P’s of marketing:” Product, promotion, price and placement. Kristin Gapske, Entrepreneurship Center manager, emphasized the need for instilling foundational marketing skills in children.
“Financial literacy and basic business ideas are really important,” Gapske said. “I think kids are marketed to, but they need to understand what marketing is and maybe understand some of the workings of that, so that they can understand better about how they’re marketed to.”
From designing their specific brand to the price of the product, children will run the show when it comes to selling their lemonade. Provided with a worksheet during the training session, the child will narrow down the recipe, the individuality of the product and what separates it from their competition.
“It’s kind of a thing for kids to start putting those – without even knowing it, really – to begin putting those into practice, those business ideas. This gets them started on that,” Gapske said.
The event is open to children K-12 and their families.
Business Workshop for Lemonade Day
Washtenaw Community College Entrepreneurship Center
Plant Operations Building Room 120
When: May 20, 5-7 p.m.
Register online: http://www.wccnet.edu/entrepreneurship