Close to 200 local kids learned about being an entrepreneur and how to run a business through the perennial favourite summer activity, running a lemonade stand.
With 64 lemonade stands and 171 kids registered, the third annual Lemonade Day was another record setting success on June 9.
“I think this year, it was our third year, and it was a great success,” said City of Chestermere Manager of Economic Development Catherine Proulx.
“The weather was wonderful, and we had a number of volunteers, people from Rotary from council as well as some interested parents to volunteer help judging,” she said.
As one of the organizers, Proulx said she made sure each participating lemonade stand was visited.
“The kids were’ having a great time,” she said.
The actual Lemonade Day is the culmination of a lot of hard work and mentorship sessions teaching the kids about running a business and what it means to be an entrepreneur.
“We noticed really good questions being asked,” said Proulx.
She said that it was easy to tell which kids had taken part in the previous Lemonade Days from how they could contribute to the discussions.
Proulx said that they used those returning kids to help teach the key concepts, asking the kids what some things they found helpful last year were that they could share with the other participants.
“And they have good ideas to share with people,” said Proulx.
They also noticed that he returning participants were able to put their past experiences to good use.
“They already know where they want to be located, they know what they want to do differently with their product or if they want to have different types of products in their booth,” said Proulx.
“Which is really great ‘cause again that is the purpose,” she said, “you do this more than once and you keep applying those things.”
The retention and application of what the kids are learning year to year is a good sign for the growth of the program.
City of Chestermere Economic Development Officer Tawndra Calhoun said that they are looking to add a program for teens to Lemonade Day in the next couple of years.
“A lot of the participants in the youth program will be of age to participate in the teen program and provide mentorship to some of the younger kids,” said Calhoun.
“Which will, we hope, instill more excitement and generate a lot more participants within the city,” she said.
Proulx said that once the teen program is up and running, it should be a good learning experience for everyone involved.
The older kids will have the opportunity to learn how to be a mentor and pass on what they know while the younger kids will get to learn from the experience of those who have gone through the program before them.
“Which is one of the key outcomes or learnings from the program… that young people learn about being an entrepreneur,” she said.
“The mentorship side is really quite valuable,” said Proulx.