UCL Innovation and Enterprise


How Lemonade made me an Entrepreneur!

21 August 2013

Citrus Saturday is a programme developed by UCL Advances to help younger people learn about and experience starting up a business.

The programme template can be used by any organisation to run a Citrus Saturday event and provides everything needed to run the workshops to teach teenagers basic business skills, learn about entrepreneurship and plan their business.

Citrus Saturday Girls

They then get the chance, along with hundreds of other young people, to create and run their own business for a day making and selling lemonade to the public – on Citrus Saturday. The young people get to keep the profits they make, ensuring they learn real business principles, while having fun and gaining new skills and confidence.

Josh, now 16, is currently studying for his GCSEs at William Ellis School. Born in Islington, he lives with his mum in Camden. His favourite subject is science, and he’d like to study medicine when he finishes school. His hobbies are sports – specifically rock climbing and weight lifting – and he is working towards his Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award. Josh has taken part in Citrus Saturday twice and is now planning on becoming a volunteer. Here’s his story:

“When our teacher first told us about Citrus Saturday, I was curious to try it out. I hadn’t had the opportunity to do anything like this before. My parents were really interested in the concept and happy for me to get some business experience. There wasn’t much for them to do, just sign the approval form, and our teachers just had to put us in touch with the organisers of the event, which was UCL Advances, who took us through the process from start to finish.

“I had been to UCL a few times, and I knew that it’s a famous university. It was really good to meet students who communicated with us on the same level – we were able to talk about school, the future, even our social lives in a way we can’t always do with our teachers or parents.

“At the first Saturday workshop we were divided into teams of four and we tried out different citrus recipes. I discovered an undeniable talent [laughs] for making lemonade so that was left for me to do most of the time. My team mates were better at advertising and organising and selling so they were given those roles, although on the day we all supported each other if one task was needed more than another.

“At the second workshop a week later we had to bid for a location for the market stall in an auction. We also had to design a poster and banner to make the stand more visible. There were prizes for the best poster, and we won a £50 Amazon voucher.“

On the morning of Citrus Saturday, we met at the market to get everything ready. UCL had delivered our fruit from local stalls outside the tube station from our budget. On the day itself we sold around 100 cups of lemonade. Our parents and teachers came by to support us and many of our customers asked us what we were doing, and why. We made around £30 profit each.

“I enjoyed the day so much that I decided to take part again this year. This time we knew where the best stands were, so we bid for a new location, and we tried to improve on our advertising.

“I’d like to carry on being part of Citrus Saturday, so I approached Jack [Wratten, the new Citrus Saturday Manager] about volunteering. I think my experience would be very useful and it would be a chance to make a contribution to the charity. It would also help me to get into a good university.

“I feel I have gained new skills and increased my knowledge of entrepreneurship which will help me a lot in later life. If I were to become an entrepreneur, I would start a business in travel or technology. I admire Lord Sugar because he has been exceptionally successful, starting at the bottom and reaching the top, and he has become a TV celebrity as well.

“I am very pleased to hear that Citrus Saturday is spreading its message to other places in the UK and is going into other countries in Europe. I’m proud that it started in Camden, though, and that my school was picked to take part. Otherwise I wouldn’t have heard of it, and I think that would be a loss.”