When Life (and COVID-19) Gives You Lemons, Start a Lemonade Business

. July 17, 2020.
Washtenaw County youth participate in a Lemonade Day. Image courtesy of Godfrey Aguwa Jr.
Washtenaw County youth participate in a Lemonade Day. Image courtesy of Godfrey Aguwa Jr.

The lemonade stand is an iconic summertime staple, giving children a chance to earn a little cash for necessities like ice cream cones and squirt guns. One local organization has decided to capitalize on this idea by turning lemonade stands into lessons on business and finance.

“Lemonade Day is an experiential program that introduces youth to entrepreneurship as kids learn how to start, own, and operate their own business — a lemonade stand,” said Godfrey Aguwa Jr., Executive Director of DCU Next Generation. “It’s actually pretty cool since, culturally speaking, the ‘lemonade stand’ is the unofficial symbol of youth entrepreneurship.”

Stands Across The Country

Lemonade Day is part of a national campaign launched in Houston, Texas in 2007, and has since spread to one million children in North America. According to the website, the objective is “to help today’s youth become the business leaders, social advocates, community volunteers, and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow.”

“There are two components to Lemonade Day,” Aguwa said. “The first is the formal training aspect which allows kids to actually learn, plan, and build their business. The second is the application component which gives the kids the opportunity to earn money by actually selling to the public.”


Young entrepreneurs operate lemonade stands while learning about business and finance with the help of national organization Lemonade Day. Image courtesy of Godfrey Aguwa Jr.

Young entrepreneurs operate lemonade stands while learning about business and finance with the help of national organization Lemonade Day. Image courtesy of Godfrey Aguwa Jr.

Young entrepreneurs operate lemonade stands while learning about business and finance with the help of national organization Lemonade Day. Image courtesy of Godfrey Aguwa Jr.

COVID- Related Changes for 2020

Lemonade Day officially began in Washtenaw County in 2019. Organizers and mentors were excited to offer the program again this year, but COVID-19 necessitated changes in the curriculum.

“Out of respect for safety and abiding by government protocols, the pandemic forced us to cancel all of the in-person learning initiatives we had planned for the year and simply focus on promoting our online learning platform called Lemonopolis.”

Traditionally, participants receive a backpack filled with workbooks and goodies from local sponsors. With Lemonopolis, children used online workbooks and participated in interactive videos and quizzes.

“Lemonade Day is an important event for many reasons. First, Lemonade Day teaches more than just entrepreneurship. Kids learn important life skills through our four steps:

  1.     Set a goal
  2.     Make a plan
  3.     Work the plan
  4.     Achieve success

We provide opportunities to learn about finances and investing, public speaking, problem solving, carpentry, and more.”

Aguwa also noted that the program is a great way for families to talk about finances.

“Finances, such as banking, savings, investing, are important conversations that need to be discussed, but sadly, many families simply don’t talk about these things. Lemonade Day is a great informal way to spark these money management conversations.”

Lemonade Day Washtenaw County is scheduled to occur on July 25. To find local Lemonade Day participants, and for more information and registration, visit their website.