Lucas Nixon has never owned a business before, but he’s well on his way to becoming an entrepreneur thanks to a new Brock University initiative.
The Goodman Lemonade program had Nixon’s Grade 4 class from Power Glen Public School in St. Catharines on campus June 1 selling lemonade for two hours to thirsty members of the Brock community at the University’s weekly Farmers Market.
Through the program, student leaders from the Goodman School of Business led the young entrepreneurs through the process of building a for-profit business.
Nixon learned some valuable business lessons during his time at his team’s lemonade stand.
“We learned that if you have one person doing all five jobs, then it’s going to go much slower and you won’t get as much money because some customers are going to walk away from your stand because it takes too much time,” he said while taking a short break from his job as sales recorder.
Thinking back to the planning stage, Nixon spoke about the careful decisions the team had to make to plan their inventory.
“You don’t want to order too much of the item you’re selling, because if you get way too much, that’s wasting your own money,” he said.
Goodman Lemonade drew a crowd of more than 300 people from the Brock community. Fifty-two litres of lemonade was purchased and packaged into various sized glasses, including some that were topped with umbrellas or blueberry garnish.
The eight bustling stands featured original artistic signage, a unique sales promotion and a team of students busily pouring glasses of lemonade and calculating change for customers.
Supported by the Goodman Student Engagement Office and BioLinc, Brock’s business incubator run by the Goodman School of Business, Goodman Lemonade ran in partnership with Power Glen teacher Jennifer Millin.
The timing of the initiative was ideal for Millin, who says it coincided with her students’ math unit on mass and capacity.
“When we started, no one even had a clue what a litre was,” she said. “We brought in all sorts of different materials to show what a litre looked like, what half a litre looked like, and the teams had to really decide how much lemonade and how many glasses to order. I noticed that some people ran out of lemonade and had too many glasses, and some had too many glasses and they ran out of lemonade. That was a big learning curve there.”
Her students used some art classes to develop posters and applied their math lessons to lemonade sales so they could count money and make change efficiently.
Barely able to contain their excitement, Millin’s class was on campus early Thursday to set up their wares.
“It was like Christmas morning in our class getting the T-shirts on and getting ready,” Millin said. “They have been smiling from ear to ear since the time they got here. There’s something about a lemonade stand — kids and lemonade stands — it never gets old.”
The team that has the highest profit will win the friendly competition and will have the chance to decide how the class spends the collective profits. The winning team will be announced in the class June 9.