Beyond the Lemonade Stand

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Rebecca Bloomfield writes, Thinking of starting a business? I met kids who did.

Thinking of starting a business? I met kids who did. Young Entrepreneurs (kids who have started a business) from all over Colorado congregated at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts to attend the 8 th annual Young Entrepreneurs Celebration.There were four age groups – 6-11, 12-14, 15-17, and 18-21. Winners and finalists set up displays to show off their businesses. C.J. Juleff, Vice President of Young Americans, said the event is “one of the few, if not the only contest in America that the kids have to have a business, not just a plan.” Entrepreneurs must have their company open for 6 months or longer to compete. The kids had many interesting businesses. Ten year old Marie Lane, owner of Emote, makes reusable note cards with unique fabric or paper with a pocket or ribbon inside. The message can be taken out and the card used many times. “My company is all about recycling,” Marie said.Miles Louison, only eight years old, started a company called The Dessert Company. He found a recipe in a book and made it his own. He mixes marshmallows and krispies, wraps a fruit roll-up around it, and tops it with gummy fish to make candy sushi.Jenna Bethany, one of the winners, makes handmade knit ribbon yarn jewelry cords. She then buys glass pendants and matches with her cords to make necklaces and bracelets. Jenna is only 11 but has a website and 85 designs. She plans to start a new jewelry line where proceeds go to AIDS orphans in Africa.Other kids started card making, salsa, purse, and honey companies.Each winner and finalist received a cash prize. Winners also got the privilege of having a local business leader as a mentor. Donna Lynne, President of Kaiser Permanente Colorado, gave this advice – ‘follow what your passion is.’ These kids did.

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