Can the world have too many lemonade stands? My answer would be a resounding “NO!!!”
Umpqua Bank from Roseburg, OR has started a campaign to encourage young entrepreneurs to open more lemonade stands this summer. In fact they hope to see over 2,000 new lemonade stands started in the 96 towns where they have branches. Children up to 13 years of age need to fill out an application to receive a lemonade stand kit, which includes a booklet called “How to Become a Lemonaire: A Guide to Starting Your First Small Business,” that includes tips on cash flow, pricing, an advertising plan, general business tips and financial literacy lessons; a yellow, plastic tablecloth; a sign for ‘fill in the name’ lemonade stand; cups; napkins; and a $10 bill for start-up capital.
In addition a drawing will be held to select 105 “lemonaires” who will receive the use of one of the bank’s brightly colored, collapsible, stainless-steel lemonade stands for a week.
“Umpqua’s brand makes it possible for banking to be about more than just suits and handshakes. Unless those handshakes are small and sticky,” Jim Haven, creative director of the Lemonaire campaign said.
Umpqua is a very unique bank that started in rural Canyonville, OR (population 1,293) in 1953. In the past ten years it has grown from $150 million in assets to over $7 billion today as it has transformed itself into a different kind of community bank. It refers to itself as a retailer rather than a bank, offering free Wi-Fi access, its own branded coffee, sewing groups, yoga classes and even movie nights.
They also have figured out that entrepreneurism is the wave of the future and cultivating even young entrepreneurs in grade school makes a lot of sense. Other banks should follow their lead.