Everyone knows what to do when life gives you lemons.
But a class from Cardinal Newman Catholic Elementary School in Niagara Falls will soon learn how to use those lemons to turn a profit.
The Grade 4 students will be at Brock University Thursday, June 14 for the annual Goodman Lemonade event, an exercise that uses lemonade stands to teach young entrepreneurs how to build a for-profit business.
Six teams from the elementary school will test skills at Brock’s Farmers Market learned from Goodman School of Business student leaders over the past month.
The teams will compete Thursday to make the greatest profit selling the popular summertime drink to the Brock community.
“We get them thinking about everything involved in building a business,” said Cassie Price, co-ordinator at BioLinc, Brock’s business incubator run by the Goodman School of Business. “It’s getting those Grade 4 students and their parents coming to Brock for a day and encouraging entrepreneurship at a young age.”
This is the second year the University has hosted Goodman Lemonade. Last year, Grade 4 students from Power Glen School in St. Catharines participated in the initiative run by the Goodman Student Engagement Office and BioLinc. It’s designed to teach elementary students the basics of business and entrepreneurship, and all the work that goes into a one-day sale.
Students are provided with a $50 budget and spend weeks crafting a business and marketing plan with guidance from Goodman mentors. They consider everything from people’s lemonade preferences to slogans, sales pitches and stand design.
The team that makes the most money in this friendly competition chooses how to spend the collective profits of all six teams.
“Surprisingly the students aren’t really competitive. They all want to win but they just come to sell lemonade,” Price said.
Greater than the glory of victory are the skills the exercise reinforces and nurtures. Goodman Lemonade content aligns with concepts in the Grade 4 curriculum, including volume and measurement.
Students also collect and synthesize data about whether people like their lemonade plain or flavoured, served with a straw or garnishes. They then use that information to fine-tune their business plan and complete a manufacturing form for their lemonade made by Brock’s food service company, Sodexo. In addition, students learn to work in teams, delegating tasks based on individual strengths.
“With posters and slogans, a lot of students like being creative and coming up with these things,” Price said. “Some students really like math and look forward to running the cash box. With a lemonade stand, one person can’t do all the jobs so they have to assign jobs. There’s lots of good opportunities working in a team and coming to decisions about what kind of lemonade and garnishes to sell.”
The experience resonated so much with students last year that it prompted some to set up their own lemonade stands at home on weekends after the Goodman event.
“That was neat to see as well,” Price said.
Goodman Lemonade happens Thursday, June 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Brock Farmers Market in Jubilee Court. The event is open to the public.