HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lemonade Day, a national non-profit preparing youth for life through a unique experiential entrepreneurship program, celebrates November’s National Entrepreneurship Month by announcing its 2023 National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year: Duane Shaw, a 5th grade Texas tycoon.
Lemonade Day’s newest talent takes the stage this month as we honor those business owners and daring innovators who remind us of the promise of the American Dream. Duane Shaw is one of 50,000 awe-inspiring children from across the country who have been empowered this year alone through the Lemonade Day program. A program where young business owners engage in an entrepreneurial journey and with the support of a guiding mentor, learn how to start, own, and operate their own business. Our youth businesses this year have collectively made over $12 million in profit, with kids donating over $6 million to charity and saving $5 million in the bank to invest in their futures.
A lemonade stand is not a new concept, but Lemonade Day’s approach is fresh and educational. “Lemonade Day is building courageous, resilient, can-do attitudes in the classroom, workplace, and beyond through entrepreneurial learning,” commented Nicole Cassier-Mason, Lemonade Day national CEO. “Our nationally renowned program builds confidence and instills growth mindsets that help youth, like Duane, become innovative leaders who are better prepared for life.”
Lemonade Day’s playbook unlocks youth potential and talent through opportunity creation. By learning how to run their own business – a lemonade stand – young children learn foundational life skills including business and financial literacy. Studies show that by introducing spending, saving, and budgeting to kids at a very young age are proven steps to help build a solid financial foundation. It allows children to ask questions and practice their skills in a low-risk environment. And because of the lack of financial and project-based education in school, 65% of parents take it upon themselves to teach their youngsters about earning and saving money.
Like Duane’s proud parents, Diana Shaw and Gracen Golden, who were in search of such a quality program. Their family hails from Fort Cavazos, Texas. Since 2010, First National Bank Texas has held the license to the Lemonade Day city franchise, empowering 32,121 youth with more than 1,500 businesses registered in operation. This year, Lemonade Day Fort Cavazos had 2,094 youth participate in the program. This is the third time one of their citizens has won the National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year contest, with titles in 2015 and 2018. “It is such a tremendous joy to watch each child blossom through the Lemonade Day program each year,” said Ally Torres-Olszynski, Assistant VP of Community Engagement at First National Bank. “The program teaches children lifelong skills and inspires them to dream big. We are proud to have Duane as the National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year, and we cannot wait to see his success in the future.”
Duane Shaw is the CEO of Lemon Squeezos and operates with the catchy slogan “All About the Squeeze”. As a second-year participant in the Lemonade Day Fort Cavazos program, Duane wanted to continue his entrepreneurial journey and expand his business, while raising money for a cause and gaining more confidence as a businessman. Through the process, he learned to set goals, develop a business plan to seek a micro loan, create lemonade products with great flavor profiles, and creatively market it to run a successful business. He demands high-quality products and services, and this included him also opening a mobile business. All of which led him to improve and expand his business by over 100%, something he credits to taking advantage of Lemonade Day’s workshops and contests where he honed his sales pitch, customer service, and marketing skills – and won local competitions as well. Bolstered by a new sense of confidence and a self-created rap video, his hard work paid off and his business generated $1,465 in total revenue. He paid back his investors with interest and profited $1,125, saved $500, and shared $300. He donated to Peaceable Kingdom in Killeen, Texas that impacts children with special needs and their families by providing resources and empowering experiences. Not only did he squeeze for business success but he squeezed for a purpose, and he likes to tell people.
What’s on the horizon for Duane? His entrepreneurial journey doesn’t end here. He is learning how to conserve his energy for school, work, and play. He plans to grow smart and expand his venture into a food and beverage truck, ultimately making his way into restaurants and vending machines. Duane is also working to publish a book. All with his parents in step with his work ethic and perseverance. “We have witnessed the dedication, hard work, and passion our son has poured into his entrepreneurial journey,” stated Diana Shaw and Gracen Golden, Duane’s proud parents. “From the early stages of brainstorming ideas to the late nights spent refining his business plan, we have seen his unwavering commitment to his vision. Duane’s Lemonade Day achievements not only brings us immense pride as parents but also serves as an inspiration to other young entrepreneurs. It demonstrates that with passion, hard work, and a strong support system, dreams can become a reality. We are excited to see what the future holds for our youth entrepreneur. We have no doubt that Duane will continue to make a positive impact in the business world and beyond.”
We agree! Watch Duane’s video here.
About Lemonade Day
Lemonade Day is a national non-profit organization dedicated to teaching youth important business, financial, character-building and life skills that are the key ingredients of entrepreneurship. Paving a pathway to self-actualization and transformative change, Lemonade Day’s experiential entrepreneurship program yields a burst of growth mindsets. Over 16 years, Lemonade Day has served over 1.5 million young children and grown to be licensed in 100+ markets across North America. Visit lemonadeday.org.