Golden Triangle Lemonade Day returns in June
Two years ago on lemonade day, 3-year-old Evalyn Smith stood outside the Dispatch office on Main Street, enthusiastically selling lemonade to those passing by.
His hard work earned him $ 510 and the prize for the biggest profits made that day. Now at 5, Smith is ready to develop her marketing skills and sell lemonade again, eager to earn even more profit than the first time.
The second Golden Triangle Lemonade Day will take place on June 19 in Columbus, Starkville and West Point at various locations in the cities.
Smith’s father Roderick Smith said the experience was a great opportunity for his daughter to learn entrepreneurial skills at a young age. He said Evalyn, who graduates from New Hope Elementary School on Wednesday, loves making her own money.
“(It) was a great experience for her as she learned what it takes to make her own money,” Roderick said. “She was selling and asking people to buy herself, and it wasn’t just us doing all the work.”
Smith said that with lemonade she plans to sell baked goods, hopefully stationed again this year outside The Dispatch.
Lemonade day is a national, experiential program that teaches young people how to start, own and operate a business. Mississippi State University Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach’s program coordinator and outreach director Jeffrey Rupp said that due to COVID-19, the event was canceled last year, but children can again participate in Lemonade Day this year.
The event, sponsored by Golden Triangle developer Mark Castleberry, Cadence Bank and the MSU E-Center, first arrived in Starkville in 2018, but expanded to Columbus and West Point the following year. Lemonade Day 2019 saw nearly 300 kids selling produce, and Rupp said this year he hoped more kids would participate.
“It was a huge success at Starkville, so we included the whole Golden Triangle, and it was huge,” said Rupp. “So we hope the kids will come back this year.”
Participants can register online at the program website, lemonadeday.org/golden-triangle, and choose where and when to sell their products. While many kids will “set up shop downtown,” Rupp said, some will choose to have their stalls in their front yard. Those who wish to organize their stand in front of a business or store must first obtain an authorization.
“It’s really cool to see eight to ten (lemonade stands) along Main Street,” Rupp said. “It’s always fun.”
After registering, participants will receive a free workbook containing the basics of creating a business and marketing plan while teaching financial responsibility. Rupp said attendees can also go to their local Cadence bank to take out a $ 30- $ 40 micro loan, learning a lesson on credit. He said the majority of the children get the money back and reimburse the bank.
Each stand that makes the most profit throughout the day in the three areas receives a bicycle.
The products aren’t just limited to lemonade, Rupp said. Children can sell other drinks, food, or even small crafts that they have made.
The program encourages children not to keep all the money for themselves but to give back to the community, said Rupp, with several children donating part of their income to the local humanitarian society and other non-profit organizations. lucrative area.
“We encourage kids to do great things with money,” Rupp said. “We encourage them to save some of the money, which makes sense. We encourage them to spend it, so they know what it feels like to spend the money they have earned. Then we encourage them to share it. “
Main Street Columbus General Manager Barbara Bigelow said the goal of Lemonade Day was for kids to learn all aspects of the life of a young entrepreneur, including finances and marketing strategies.
“I just think it’s so important for kids to learn how to manage their money, start a business, be a responsible person and give back to the community,” Bigelow said. “It’s a great program that teaches kids about entrepreneurship. You are never too young to learn these kinds of values in our world. “
Participating in lemonade day, Bigelow said, can lead to other entrepreneurial opportunities. A young man enjoyed attending the event so much that he decided to continue his economic efforts by selling his produce at the Hitching Lot Farmers’ Market in Columbus.
“He not only handled lemonade, but he started selling lemon plants,” Bigelow said. “He would take the seeds of the lemon, ferment the plant and sell these plants at the farmers market on Saturdays. His mother told me that he really did the work himself. She told me that he even reimbursed her for gasoline because she had carried him around so much to take care of her business.
In addition to the children learning valuable financial skills, Lemonade Day is also a great opportunity for the Golden Triangle community to engage with others. The Greater Starkville Development Partnership’s Events and Special Projects Coordinator, Paige Watson, said she encourages everyone in Columbus, Starkville and West Point to support the children in the area by buying a nice glass of lemonade.
“It kind of reinforces the whole year that we’ve had on supporting local businesses by supporting young kids who want to have a budding business,” Watson said. “It really is a great event for the kids and the community.”