Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Inspiring the Next Generation of Hoosier Entrepreneurs…
One Lemonade Stand at a Time

by Jami Marsh

April 01, 2012

“Clayton has really been impacted by his involvement in Lemonade Day” is how the email began from the mother of one of our participants. [Smile.] This is the best part of my job.

Clayton won our Best Lemonade Stand Contest last year with his magic-themed stand and the year before drew attention with his “Lemon Lab” in which he dressed up like a mad scientist and sold lemonade from his test-tube clad laboratory. Clayton’s mom went on to say, “He mentions his goals to be a business owner, inventor, and to ‘be like Scott Jones’ quite often.”

Prolific entrepreneur and inventor Scott Jones – widely known for having invented the voice mail system used by billions of people around the world – was asked by Lemonade Day founder and Houston entrepreneur Michael Holthouse to bring Lemonade Day to Indianapolis in 2010. Holthouse shared his passion for teaching kids how to start, own and operate their own business by setting up a lemonade stand. Jones was hooked. He had lemonade stands as a kid and knew the transformative power of this experience, for him and many other entrepreneurs he knew. Jones wanted to be a role model for kids like Clayton and underscore that it was cool to be smart, to dream big and to chart your own course in life. It was cool to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have changed the world.

Scott Jones and I launched Lemonade Day in the Greater Indianapolis Area in 2010 and, in our first year, over 7,400 kids participated. An incredible start! Last year, the number climbed to 10,000. When kids sign up for Lemonade Day, they get a backpack with two workbooks inside. One of these workbooks – the Entrepreneur’s Workbook – is used by the kids to prepare for Lemonade Day (the other workbook is for the “caring adult” who will help the child). Kids work through lessons such as “finding an investor for your business” and “site selection” --- important learning for any entrepreneur starting a business. Ultimately, after using the workbook as a guide and participating in one or more of our free workshops and contests, kids will be ready to set up their stands and “open up shop” on Lemonade Day, which is May 19 this year.

Turning a profit on Lemonade Day is the goal but Jones has bigger things in mind for the kids participating in Lemonade Day: catching the entrepreneurial “bug,” like he did. Lemonade Day veteran Clayton seems to have caught the bug. His mom went on to share in this email that when Clayton was asked by his grandparents what he wanted for Christmas he said: “Property!” Clayton’s family is so thrilled with his enthusiasm for entrepreneurship that they are doing what they can to fuel it. His mom says, “Clayton’s grandparents own a small farm in Brown County and, to fulfill his wish, they gave him 1/10 of an acre of that farm for Christmas! He immediately got on Google Earth to see what his property looked like. Initially, he thought about building a stage that he could perform on. But when he saw it was a wooded area he started formulating a plan to make it into a Big Foot Hiking tour. He really keeps us laughing and wondering what he will come up with next! Hopefully, he'll get to spend some time this summer exploring his property and working on his business ideas.”

I think Clayton has definitely caught the entrepreneurial bug. What willl he do next? [smile.] (click Indianapolis)

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