By Sam Davenport, Startups Storyteller
From Noatak to Wrangell, hundreds of young Alaskans will be participating in this year’s Lemonade Day, which teaches children the ins and outs of launching their own small business.
Lemonade Day is a nationwide program founded in 2007; Alaska began participating in 2011. The program allows children to be part of their community, all while learning how to meet goals, develop business plans, establish budgets and showcase branding and marketing skills.
While registrations and branded lemonade stands are still rolling in, Harley Tennant, Manager of Lemonade Day Alaska, says there are well over 870 registrations and 75 lemonade stands on the map for this year’s event.
“For 2018, we had 1,022 statewide participants in 40 Alaskan communities and more than 130 branded lemonade stands,” Tennant said in an email. “We're looking forward to seeing how the 2019 season compares.”
Tennant says they continually have young entrepreneurs returning each year — like Aaliyah and Amiyah of Double A’s Lemonade Stand — who won last year’s Lemonade Day Alaska Entrepreneurs of the Year award. The two featured creative branding, investor partnerships and new recipes at their stand, which was held at Fred Meyer on DeBarr Road.
“We continually have children returning each year and the fun part of this is seeing them grow in confidence and apply what they learn each season,” Tennant said. “They come back with fresh ideas, a deeper understanding of financial literacy and a passion for entrepreneurship that is fun to watch.”
Many entrepreneurs use their profits to open a savings account, while others use their earnings to save for college, books, bikes, games, school clothes, groceries and more. In 2018, $214,865 was earned from lemonade stands in the state and over $110,000 of that was donated to local non-profits and entities.
“These are all amazing choices to make and the heart warms, even more, when these children talk about how they would like to donate a portion of their profit,” Tennant said. “They willingly and selflessly give to causes that personally mean something to them and I find this to be the heart of the Lemonade Day Alaska program.”
Visit Lemonade Day Alaska’s website for an interactive map of stands across the state.