NOT Your Neighbor’s Lemonade Stand

NOT Your Neighbor’s Lemonade Stand

If you ever held a lemonade stand as a child, you may remember the rush you felt when a customer handed you some cold hard cash. But you probably didn’t think much about your fixed vs. variable costs (or pay mom back for the lemonade mix!). At Greenfields Academy, our annual entrepreneurship project allows students to learn the ins and outs of running a business and feel the joy of making actual sales at the Children’s Business Fair.

On November 14th, the 4th Annual Greenfields Children’s Business Fair saw 33 child-run businesses earn a total revenue of $3,952. This means average sales of about $120 per student, although a couple savvy kidpreneurs earned over $400!

The average product price point skyrocketed this year, with some high-end items such as handmade wooden cutting boards at $45 and furry monster backpacks for $25.

During the planning phase, we invited a number of business experts to share their stories and give advice about their areas of expertise. Studentslearned from them about concepts such as using visual appeal in marketing, differentiating yourself from your competition, making a strong sales pitch, and finding a career path you love. Experts took questions and mentored our students on their own business ideas for the Children’s Business Fair.

Everyone took this advice in stride and the resulting creativity was through the roof! For instance, the entrepreneurial team behind “Veggie City” made and sold audiobooks about the benefit of vegetarianism along with a cookbook of vegetarian recipes, all from a table decorated with fresh lettuce leaves. Customization was a hot theme this year, with items such as personalized name stickers, design-your-own phone cases, and hand-drawn family portraits. Perennial favorites such as slime, magic tricks, and homemade cookies were once again successful.

What happens after the business fair is even more important than what happens during, as students finalize their income statements and reflect on their experience and how they would like to improve for the next business fair. 8-year old M, who decorated hair clips for sale, said “My business was successful because my booth was colorful so people could see it and I practiced my pitch more than last year.” 10-year old A, who ran his own small bakery, shared this success, “I emphasized how my product was completely home-cooked, no artificial colors or flavors. My customers also told a lot of other people how they loved my product and they should buy it. Free publicity!” Some advice on pricing came from O, aged 12, “I’m really proud of how I was able to make business deals and able to be more flexible while selling my product. But at the same time being able to be firm.”

Thank you to all of the experts who shared their hard-earned wisdom with us and to the customers who supported our entrepreneurs by shopping the business fair. See you next year!