It’s been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. For small-business owners, seeing the next generation pursue and fulfill the dream of owning and running a business, this sentiment is especially true. We want to be imitated—and we need to provide opportunities and assistance for young, aspiring business owners to watch our example and follow in our small business footsteps.
This Spring, we have two unique opportunities to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit and to support our youth in following their dreams. The first is Lemonade Day, a nationwide effort to educate youth in the basics of starting, owning and operating the quintessential American business—a lemonade stand. This year, NFIB has once again collaborated with National Lemonade Day to lend our support, and our example, to the young men and women who are eager to participate in this effort. Official Lemonade Day activities are occurring in states across the country, but we are encouraging NFIB members in all 50 states to support a budding business owner—a child, grandchild or neighborhood youth, in creating a plan, setting financial goals, employing a little elbow grease and putting the business skills they have learned into practice. And for those of us with schedules too packed to mentor, we can still offer encouragement to these young entrepreneurs by pledging to purchase a glass of lemonade on May 5, 2013. After all, few things are more refreshing than an ice-cold glass of lemonade on a warm spring day, and knowing that your support will energize the next generation of small-business owners.
The opportunities to inspire youth don’t stop at the end of the driveway—they continue all the way to our places of business with Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. This national effort is another way that we can demonstrate to our children the importance of entrepreneurism, by bringing our children to our workplaces—our offices, shops and restaurants. Here, we can expose youth to the challenges and rewards of the workplace environment and reinforce the importance of education, hard work and responsibility—foundational principles for those in the small-business community. NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation has developed a FREE curriculum that parents and members can use as a guide to celebrating this day. Showing our children first-hand how entrepreneurism works will animate them with the desire to pursue their own endeavors in the business world.
Nothing renews our confidence in the American Dream like knowing that the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well in our children and grandchildren. But we have to do our part in supporting our children as they follow their dreams. We encourage you to do your part by participating in one or both of these wonderful opportunities to spread the entrepreneurial spirit and inspire the next generation of small-business owners.