As parents rejoice at the thought of school returning this week, comes the realisation that perhaps the real lessons come outside the classroom as kids play and experiment.
The Lemonade Stand is a business simulation that was created in 1973 by Bob Jamison of the Minnesota Education Computing Consortium. Players in Bob’s exercise move through several rounds of running a business from stock, pricing, advertising, and customer acquisition. Today it has many versions, games, books even an App. It is used by Fortune 500 companies and schools to introduce maths even coding top teams of students.
However, the B&B Lemonade Stand spotted over the last weekend of the holidays in Merimbula was inspired by Youtube.
Brooke, 12 years from Wagga and her 9-year-old cousin, Bella from Merimbula, took inspiration and learnings from their favourite Youtube channels and with a $24 investment by Bella’s mum Angela, and a few things from around the house, it wasn’t long before the B&B Lemonade Stand was in business and attracting attention.
Bella says making the sign took the longest, and she was more than happy to share her secret recipe with me, in between serving customers. The B&B Lemonade Stand was also offering cupcakes and they were a delightfed to sellout when one gentleman bought six as soon as they opened.
Prominently located on Market St, just up from Maccas and across the road from the fire station, and thanks to some publicity via the Merimbula/Pambula Buy Swap and Sell Facebook page, the B&B Lemonade Stand was in full swing at lunchtime Saturday.
Fifty-three minutes in, the B&B stand was just $9 shy of breaking even on their setup costs.
By the time I saw the post on Facebook, the B&B Lemonade Stand where almost out of straws with lemonade cups selling for a bargain price of 50 cents. They also had 2 for 1 deals as well as FREE refills!
Brooke and Bella are part of something bigger happening on the Sapphire Coast. This region is the perfect place for entrepreneurs to ‘startup’ thanks to the newly opened Bega Valley Innovation Hub and its budding businesses, as well as the rollout of the NBN and the 100mbs up and down available at the Bega Valley Learning Centre. Not to mention the general acceptance, interest, and culture that has been building in local chambers of commerce for some time.
The B&B Lemonade Stand is a timely reminder that anyone of any age at any location can start a business, and while most startups aim to be high growth tech companies, maybe just a bit of extra cash for a weekend is a good start.
The motivation and experience these two bright girls will take away from their experience and the response from the local community is priceless – outside in the sunshine, unplugged, creating memories, speaking to potential customers, counting money and learning that you need to work for your ice-cream.
After two hours on the job and with less than a quarter of their Lemonade left, the girls counted their takings – $41.50! With that, they called it a day and headed to the ice-cream shop and split the rest.
Enjoy girls, thanks for teaching us something along the way.
Words by Simone Eyles
Pre-startup life for Simone was as a Graphic Designer living and working all across Australia. From design in a boutique ad agency, comms in a big corporate, even some time doing marketing in a government department, Simone loves to use her creative mind and tinker with tech.
A life learner but don’t say she is “busy” Simone is getting sh#t done, leaning in and paying it forward.
Connect with Simone on Twitter – @SuperSimone365