A group of London's universities are launching a new collaboration – OpenSME – that seeks to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access the expertise and knowledge they offer.
Camden Schools use 2,000 Lemons for Lemonade Stand Extravaganza
9 July 2012
Schools from in and around Camden have used over 2,000 lemons in a day of frenzied lemonade selling which saw teams of eager teens take to Camden’s streets selling lemonade.
Citrus Saturday – an initiative set up by UCL Advances to encourage young people to consider becoming entrepreneurs – saw 40 pupils from a range of schools and youth groups, including South Camden Community School, the William Ellis School and Marylebone High School for Girls set up 10 lemonade stands across Camden, from Euston to Camden Lock.
The initiative began when Timothy Barnes – the Director of UCL Advances, the University’s centre for entrepreneurship – went to a business conference in Houston, Texas and met the multi-millionaire founder of Lemonade Days Michael Holthouse. Lemonade days run across the US to encourage deprived young people experience the rush of running their own business.
Citrus Saturday seeks to emulate that approach through a fun, absorbing and – most importantly for the kids – financially rewarding day of setting up a lemonade stand. Following a successful pilot in London last year, it has gone nationwide this summer, with similar events taking place in Edinburgh, Dublin and Somerset.
The day was modelled to be as much like running a small business as possible. The teenagers from across Camden were provided with an initial budget of £200 per team, from which they had to buy fruit for the day and bid for a pitch – organised by UCL – from one of twelve around Camden.
On the day, after paying back for the cost of the fruit and stall, the participants were allowed to keep their profits – with some teens making over £40 each. In total, profits of £4000 were made by the 10 teams taking part, squeezing their way through 2,000 lemons in the process.
Timothy Barnes, the Director of UCL Advances – the university’s centre for entrepreneurship – and the originator of the initiative, said:
“Too many kids feel they have already been written off by the time they reach secondary school –Citrus Saturday helps show them that through planning and hard work they can take control of their futures.
“The day is a fun, rewarding way for the kids involved to see what running a small business is all about – and hopefully give them a taste of how rewarding making a living this way can be.”