When 8 year old Jack Bonneau, founder and CEO of Jack’s Marketplaces & Stands, wanted to buy a new $400 Lego set he was told by his dad that he would need to earn the money himself. Jack thought to do what many kids have tried for decades, set up a lemonade stand. What made Jack’s stand so successful is that he had the foresight to realize he could make a lot more money if he set up where there was lots of foot traffic, rather than in the neighborhood where most kids would try. With the help of his dad, Jack secured a space at his local farmers market and found that customers couldn’t say no to a kid running a lemonade stand.
He earned enough for his Death Star Lego set a few weeks later, with sales of around $2,000 and $900 profit. Jack says the experience taught him about money management and small business, and gave him more confidence in school. He invited some of his friends to help operate his stand and realized he just stumbled into a whole new business model, renting stands to other kids in busy but safe locations like the farmers market. Now Jack’s Stands are operated by kids in several locations and his mini-franchise is growing steadily.
Jack furnishes everything needed to run a drink stand, and lets the kids who operate them keep a cut of the profits and their tips. Kids typically earn between $30-$50 for the day’s work. He provides supplies, insurance, permits, and teaches new operators how to treat customers, take credit card payments, make change, and add up their total profits. Kids learn the value of a dollar and the basics of entrepreneurship while having fun running their own short term business. Jack’s Stands sell lemonade, iced tea, hot chocolate, apple cider, or may be a Jack’s Marketplace, selling products made by other child entrepreneurs like Shark Tank’s own Moziah Bridges (Mo’s Bows) and Ryan Kelly (Ry’s Ruffery).
Last year more than 200 kids (with parents) operated Jack’s Stands earning a total of about $30,000. Jack and his dad secured a $5,000 loan from Young Americans Bank, a Denver bank that specializes in loans to children. The cash infusion helped Jack expand his empire and garner lots of attention and press, including an appearance on the Today Show. The young business tycoon is not only learning about business but also about the value of social responsibility. He is already giving back, donating 1/3 of his profits to charity.