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Lemonade Day: Spreading the Sweet Taste of Entrepreneurship Across Houston

Cadence associates participating in Lemonade Day Houston

Lemonade Day: Spreading the Sweet Taste of Entrepreneurship Across Houston

Lemonade Day: Spreading the Sweet Taste of Entrepreneurship Across Houston

May 6, 2018, was a special day in Houston, as children across the city unveiled their entrepreneurial skills by opening up lemonade stands. But these were no ordinary neighborhood lemonade tables: wild flavors, games, crafts, decorations and even local celebrities punctuated Houston’s lemonade stands for this heartwarming event. And on many other days this spring, in cities across the country, similar events played out, with thousands of kids operating their own lemonade stands.


Lemonade Day gives elementary school students a chance to learn how to run their own business, and Cadence Bank is a proud sponsor of the “Best Business” contest in Houston, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Starkville, Mississippi. Giving them a taste of success at such an early age allows participants to see themselves as leaders and achievers. Experiencing one small victory with Lemonade Day can be the catalyst for a whole new generation of changemakers and thought leaders.


The purpose of Lemonade Day


Since 2007, Lemonade Day has been helping children acquire the skills and knowledge they need to become successful entrepreneurs. The project empowers the next generation of business leaders to set goals and work hard to achieve them. Each spring, elementary students gain valuable hands-on experience in creating and operating their own businesses through this unique program.


Teachers and mentors work with groups of children to create their lemonade stands. The most important aspects of entrepreneurship are covered in the curriculum, including:


  • Business design: What does it take to sell lemonade?
  • Marketing: How can we make sure our operation stands out from the other lemonade stands in the neighborhood?
  • Finance: How much money do we need to get started, and what should we do with the profits?
  • Product development: How can we make great lemonade, and what else can we sell?


Lemonade Day: Spreading the Sweet Taste of Entrepreneurship Across Houston 

This starter course in entrepreneurship is crucial, but Lemonade Day is also about creating a positive self-identity, learning to work with a group and developing a positive view of the future. However, getting kids excited about entrepreneurship is one of the initiative’s greatest accomplishments.


“According to a recent Gallup Hope Poll, only 40 percent of youth plan to start their own business one day, compared to 72 percent of Lemonade Day youth,” says Debbie Nazarian, National Cities Director for Lemonade Day National. “And 64 percent of Lemonade Day youth say they will invent something that will change the world, compared to 29 percent of youth who have not participated in Lemonade Day.”


Lemonade Day’s exit poll data is a clear indicator that this event has a major impact on participants.


Cadence Bank’s role in Lemonade Day


Lemonade Day: Spreading the Sweet Taste of Entrepreneurship Across Houston

Lemonade Day couldn’t happen without sponsors who provide funding that allows children across the United States to participate in this event for free. Cadence Bank is proud to be the “Best Business” contest sponsor in Houston, Tuscaloosa and Starkville, granting awards in each city.


Cadence Bank was thrilled to align with Yellowstone Academy in Houston for Lemonade Day 2018 and sent 56 mentors to work with students in kindergarten through eighth grade. According to Nazarian, “Lemonade Day is proud to partner with Cadence Bank, and we are so grateful for the impact you are making on so many young lives, their families and their communities.”


With a mentor’s help, each class designed and ran their own lemonade stand. Many classes got creative with making their lemonade stands stand out; some groups experimented with special flavors and ingredients for their lemonade recipes, while others added food to their menus. One class offered patrons the opportunity to decorate their own cup before enjoying some delicious lemonade. Other groups invited local sports teams and firefighters to generate more excitement around their lemonade stands.


In one day, the students at Yellowstone Academy raised $11,000, 30 percent of which was donated to charities. But even more important than the money is the business experience acquired through this unique learning process. Getting a taste of success now could be all it takes for some Lemonade Day alumni to one day build their own empire in the business world.


Making Lemonade Day work


Lemonade Day: Spreading the Sweet Taste of Entrepreneurship Across Houston

Patrick Pacheco, EVP, Trust & Asset Management Executive at Cadence Bank, served as the City Chair for Lemonade Day Houston this year.


“Lemonade Day is many children’s first foray into planning, budgeting and carrying out a business plan,” Pacheco says. More importantly, the kids learn that they can succeed at something they own, they plan and they work hard on.”


On his first day working with children for Lemonade Day, Pacheco shared his personal story to prove to the class that anything they want is within their grasp.


“I walked into a classroom of seventh graders who stood on the brink of young adulthood. As I looked over the group, dressed in a suit and cufflinks and fresh from my attendance at the Cadence Opening Bell ceremony at the NYSE, I shared the story of a kid born to first-generation Latino college students, whose grandparents would have to come pick him up when his parents ran out of propane to heat the 30-foot trailer the family lived in.


“And that kid now stood there, fresh from New York, and told the group they have the two things they need—an education and a chance—and challenged the group to make the best of that chance, and know that if they failed to take advantage, they would have no one to blame but themselves. On the way back to the office I called my parents and told them about it and said thank you, as I heard my mom cry and my dad’s voice crack a little.”


Get involved with Lemonade Day 2020


Thirsty for more! Houston’s Lemonade Day 2020 is scheduled for the first weekend in May, and Cadence will be actively participating as it’s done every year since 2017. As the program grows, so does the need for volunteers, mentors, partners and sponsors. Will you join Cadence Bank and help next year’s participants experience the sweet taste of success? Visit the Lemonade Day website to explore the ways you can get involved in your community’s events.



This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

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