In a recent article called “Buy Lemonade, Inspire an Entrepreneur“, Deborah Hoover, the president and CEO of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, suggests we business people help young people learn how to start businesses.
I think it is a great idea! No — not just to buy lemonade — but to fan the flames of entrepreneurship.
During a recent presentation in Akron, Jim Clifton, president and CEO of the Gallup organization, noted that, to spark the next stage of economic growth in America, we’ll need about 2 million startups a year. The current number is only about one-fifth of that.
That’s where such programs as Lemonade Day come in. In America, we now have about 15 million kids in middle school and about 15 million more in high school. As students delight in their summer activities and look forward to the next school year, we hope that the adults in our community will think about taking an active role in inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Consider volunteering for Junior Achievement in an eighth-grade classroom next fall. Or perhaps mentor the business club at a local high school. Or encourage your school district to participate in Lemonade Day 2013 next spring.
There are so many ways to help the next generation experience the thrill of starting and managing a business. And, of course, the next time you pass a lemonade stand, be sure to stop and buy a glass.
What can you do to help light the spark of entrepreneurship among students? Is there an SBDC in your community? A SCORE chapter? An incubator or an entrepreneural program at a college or university near you?
As a business professional, consider how you can make a difference to a start up business by volunteering some time. If you are considering starting a business, check out some of the places I just listed above for ways to get business off the ground. What are you doing to encourage entrepreneurship? Leave a message in the comments below.