The idea started because her daughter wants to run a business in the near future.

Amanda Cottingham’s daughter, Emma, 10, will be selling blueberry mint lemonade and her sugar cookies at a lemonade stand at the corner of Stones Crossing Road and Galena Drive, near Copper Chase, in the Center Grove area Saturday.

Emma wants to start a business selling dog biscuits. Cottingham thought having Emma start smaller with a lemonade stand will allow her to get a taste of business before the stakes are higher, she said.

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“I want her to see how hard it is to start up a business,” Cottingham said.

Hundreds of local children will open their businesses on Saturday to peddle lemonade and sweet treats as a part of Lemonade Day of Greater Indianapolis.

Members of Aspire Johnson County, a program of the Johnson County Development Corp., have spearheaded an effort to get more Johnson County students involved in Lemonade Day. More than 400 Johnson County children have registered to sell lemonade Saturday.

Look for them in the Center Grove area off State Road 135, off of Emerson Avenue in Greenwood and at the Franklin Farmer’s Market.

The day is part of a national effort to give kids a look an entrepreneurship while they are young. Students have registered their lemonade stands online and gotten tips on how to run their stands. Local businesses have offered their parking lots and sidewalks as a temporary location for the young lemonade peddlers.

Representatives from the Johnson County Development Corp. visited schools to tout lemonade day, offering more information on how students can make their own lemonade stands and offering teachers curriculum on how to teach the basic of entrepreneurship in schools, said Steven Spencer, a Greenwood entrepreneur who founded Advantis Medical. He is the Lemonade Day champion for Johnson County.

Everything the students would need to think about when opening a lemonade stand was covered, said Dana Monson, director of business development for the development corporation.

They were asked to think about what their lemonade stand would look like and how they would tell the public that they were selling lemonade.

And they were asked to think about the location of their stand to make sure people could access what they are selling, Monson said.

“It is a great program and a great opportunity when you look long-term,” she said.

Local students who participate have a possibility of winning a prize. Lemonade sellers are encouraged to snap a photo of their lemonade stand and post it to the Aspire Johnson County Facebook page.

The top three photos that have the most “likes” by May 31 will win a prize, Monson said.

Lemonade Day offers students a chance to start exploring their options, Spencer said.

“You can’t underestimate the energy a child will put into if given a little direction,” Spencer said.

Cottingham’s daughter Emma decided to set up shop near a business Cottingham was starting on Stones Crossing Road.

And Emma had to find a recipe for the mint blueberry lemonade she wanted to sell and whether she should offer a sweet treat and how to set the costs of the sugar cookies and lemonade.

Part of her planning went into researching what her logo should look like and to what animal-based charity she wanted to give half of her profits to.

“I think it is great for her at her age and great for the community,” Cottingham said.

The national effort at has been a resource for young budding entrepreneurs, Spencer said.

Money-savvy lemonade sellers could also get help with the seed money for their stands, earning about $10 to buy the lemons and sugar they would need to run their business, he said.

Part of why Aspire Johnson County got involved in helping recruit students is to make sure that young children start getting the skills they need to run businesses, Monson said.

A few decades ago, students wanting to earn money would mow lawns, babysit and have lemonade stands, she said. But that type of work from young people wanting to make money seems to be waning, she said.

Small business is a large component of the economy and students should learn those skills young, she said.

“Every entrepreneur at one point in time was a kid,” she said.

If you go

Lemonade Day

Help a child learn about operating a business at one of possibly hundred lemonade stands across the county on Saturday.

Author photo
Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.