Still looking for ways to combine fun and learning at home while practicing social distancing? Take a trip to Lemonopolis to learn about business and entrepreneurial skills right from your own living room.

ESD 112 and the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) have partnered together this spring to bring a free national business education program called Lemonade Day to Clark County’s youth and families. Traditionally held as an in-person learning experience, Lemonade Day will operate online as Lemonopolis this year, and students from across Southwest Washington are encouraged to participate. ESD 112 and GVCC worked together to bring this program to life locally to support the development of our region’s future workforce.

“We hope that by engaging students in business and entrepreneurial opportunities in Clark County and Southwest Washington,” said Janet Kenefsky, Vice President of Membership and Operations for GVCC, “they will feel empowered to become the business leaders of tomorrow here in their own community.”

Lemonopolis is designed for third through fifth graders to participate in a virtual world that teaches them how to start, own and operate their very own business—a lemonade stand! While the program typically culminates in running a real-world lemonade stand, more students than ever can participate in this virtual version.

Videos and activities in Lemonopolis cover a wide range of business topics related to developing and running a business. The course work focuses on skills required of entrepreneurs like creating budgets, setting profit-making goals, serving customers, repaying investors and giving back to the community. Along the way, students acquire skills in goal-setting and problem solving, and they the gain self-esteem critical for future success.

While they may not have the opportunity to put their plans into action this year due to social distancing requirements, students are encouraged to make their way through the virtual program to start building a foundation for future business success. Through the lessons available in Lemonopolis, youth can learn and practice entrepreneurial skills that will make them successful in business and in life.

“We want youth to come back to the program year after year to try new ideas and business plans,” said Kenefsky. “The more they practice business development from a young age, the better equipped they will be to someday start a venture of their own that benefits them and their community.”

While Lemonade Day is a national program and has been around since 2007, this is the first year that it has been hosted in Clark County. GVCC looks forward to hosting the event in years to come so that students can get all the experience they need to someday join the local workforce or start their own business.

Get involved

Are you a parent or teacher of a third, fourth or fifth grader who wants to participate in Lemonopolis in the greater Vancouver area? Visit the Lemonade Day website or contact Scott Culbertson.