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Kids learn biz tactics with lemonade stand challenge

New summer program enrolling in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam
Lemonade challenge
Nikolas Boal, 8, and Ethan Ricketts, 9, serve up lemonade to customers outside the Pinetree branch of Vancity. They are joined by Braden Rickets and Leah Coss, who have started, a program that teaches children about entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Participants in upcoming summer camp and after-school programs will be learning how to start a business, including establishing lemonade stands as part of a summer Lemonade Stand Challenge.

Lemonade stands aren’t just another way for kids to top up their piggy banks.

This summer, youngsters aged seven to 12 will learn how to start and run a lemonade stand with the goal of raising money for charity.

The Lemonade Stand Challenge is the summer camp program started by Braden Ricketts and Leah Coss of, who are aiming to blend entrepreneurship and financial literacy with social responsibility in a fun learning environment for kids.

“We believe kids have the ability to make change and they are natural problem solvers,” said Coss, a Port Moody resident who has experience in startups and franchises, including 1-800-Got-Junk.

The program is enrolling now for full-day, week-long summer camps at three Vancity branches and at the Port Coquitlam rec complex.

For the fall, the non-profit will provide an 11-week after-school program where youngsters seven to 12 years of age will come up with their own products and learn to market and sell them.

Coss and partner Ricketts, who is a certified life skills instructor and former employment services program manager, will be working with curriculum that was developed for the Young Entrepreneur Learning Lab. They say, entrepreneurship can help kids develop leadership skills, confidence, self esteem while encouraging them to explore.

“There is a whole slew of life skills in the program,” Ricketts said, “Our goal is to create confident kids who feel they can make a difference.”

Among the skills the students will be learning will be teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, product development, customer service and marketing.

Build a Biz Kids is also partnering with Vancity, which will be teaching the financial literacy component of the after school program.

Ricketts said the program fits in will with the B.C. school curriculum and will give young people a leg up in the new economy.

“When these kids are older, traditional jobs my not be there and they are going to need to be able to create opportunities for themselves," he said.

• For more information about the program and to register, visit

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