Young people around the world will be starting their very first enterprises on Saturday 4 July as they take part in Citrus Saturday, an initiative created by UCL (University College London) to introduce 11-15 year-olds to business and entrepreneurship.
Participants form teams to create their own one-day lemonade businesses, then trade to the public and earn money for themselves, learning the crucial link between hard work and reward.
Over 300 young people across Europe and Africa are due to take part in this year’s Citrus Saturday, with participating countries including the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Poland, Armenia, Swaziland, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Niger, Kenya and Tanzania.
Each team runs their stand according to basic business principles, having been provided with seed funding from UCL to cover the costs of their rent, ingredients and disposables for the day. Every participant keeps a share of the profits that they make – often the first time in their lives that they have earned cash for their efforts.
Jack Wratten, Citrus Saturday Manager, said: “Our mission is to ensure that every young person in the world who wants to learn about business and experience entrepreneurship first-hand gets the opportunity to do just that.
“Citrus Saturday helps to fulfill the need for enterprise education in a fun and easy way, students directly learn skills not only valuable for entrepreneurs but for the entire workforce of tomorrow.”
Participation in the programme, which was established in 2011 by Timothy Barnes, Director of UCL Enterprise Operations, has tripled since last year and aims to engage with 1 million young people by 2020.
The programme is designed to be flexible and easy to run, and the Citrus Saturday Toolkit is available to any organisation that works with young people. The Toolkit includes all the resources needed to run Citrus Saturday activities anywhere in the world.
Citrus Saturday launched in Africa in late 2013 with pilot activities in Swaziland, inaugurated with the support of Junior Achievement and the Commonwealth Secretariat. In Mozambique, former London student and volunteer with Citrus Saturday, founder of Robobo, Fei Manheche, set up activities with Maputo International School to ‘inspire, educate and help spark new ideas among young people’.
This year, two UK charities, Giving Africa and The Livingstone Tanzania Trust will pilot Citrus Saturday in Burkina Faso and Tanzania respectively. Junior Achievement have committed to launch Citrus Saturday in Kenya, and a school in Niger hopes to include Citrus Saturday in their curriculum to offer their students a vocational opportunity unlike anything else they will experience during their education.