HARKER HEIGHTS – Lemonade Day is around the corner, but before setting up shop young entrepreneurs have to learn what it takes to do business.

The Lemonade Day University, aka Lemon U, gives kids of all ages the opportunity to learn fundamental knowledge of being successful as an entrepreneur.

While parents of children who register for Lemonade Day get access to a specific business curriculum, Lemon U equals a one-hour intensive workshop for entrepreneurship, free of charge.

“Of course, we make it fun and engaging for kids but it allows them to really break apart the high points of creating their business, form setting the goal to making the plan to achieving their dream,” said Lemonade Day Fort Hood Area City Director Amanda Sequeira. “We want to create a jump start for their Lemonade Day experience and then they can go back and do a few of the Lemonade Day lessons on a deeper level.”

Last Tuesday, young entrepreneurs met for Lemon U at the Harker Heights Activities Center to learn basic business skills in cooperation with community mentors and the Central Texas Net Impact Team.

“They really learn the value of setting a goal and making a plan,” Sequeira said. “A lot of us are quick to set a goal but not a plan to help us achieve these goals. So, what our mentors do is to help them make a plan that actually empowers them to fully follow through with that dream of having their own business.”

Entrepreneurs also learned strategies behind successful brand management and how to showcase their own creativity in creating their personal brand. Other important aspects of the lesson included store location as well as product management.

“Product is essential for a lemonade stand,” Sequeira said. “If they don’t have a good product, people are not going to buy it.”

While the business class is certainly helpful approaching Lemonade Day, it also teaches children important lessons and money management skills for life.

“When they see that they can do that with their lemonade stand, then they can do that with anything in the future and that is what is exciting,” Sequeira said. “It is inspiring to see these children follow through to their goal and turn it into an exciting adventure.”

While spots at Lemon U are limited to 30-40 children, an average of 3,000 kids participated in Lemonade Day the past years.

“We have kids from Kinder throughout high school, so it is quite a wide variety,” Sequeira said. “During Lemon U, we tend to break up kids into smaller groups based on their age so that they can have age-appropriate conversations and dialogue.”

Lemonade Day is scheduled for the first weekend in May and marks the eleventh anniversary of the program in the Killeen-Fort Hood area.

The free community program is part of a national initiative dedicated to teaching youth how to start, own and operate their own business.

Children who like to have their own stand can register for Lemonade Day at FortHood.LemonadeDay.org until the end of April and sign up for associated programs including Lemon U at the event’s page at https://www.facebook.com/LemonadeDayGKFH/.

Two additional Lemonade Day Universities will take place on Fort Hood on March 17 and in Copperas Cove on March 24.

Killeen-resident Nicole Grantham visited the Harker Heights Lemon U with her six-year-old daughter Mia, who will participate in her third Lemonade Day.

“We have been doing it since she was four,” Grantham said. “First it was just for fun but now that she is older she can actually learn how to do her own business.”

Mia, who wants to open a lemonade restaurant and a bank when she grows up, enjoyed learning business skills for her future.

“I like it so I can make money and be rich,” Mia said.

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