The Independent London Newspaper
25th July 2014

Letters

UCL's Citrus Saturday gives local students a taste of self-made business success

The answer is a lemon: entrepreneurs at their citrus stall

The answer is a lemon: entrepreneurs at their citrus stall

Published: 12 July, 2012
by PAVAN AMARA

CHILDREN in Camden squeezed more than 2,000 lemons on Saturday on a day of frenzied lemonade selling.

Citrus Saturday, an initiative set up by University College London to give young people a taste of self-made business success, saw 40 students set up 10 lemonade stands across the borough – at Camden Market, Inverness Street Market, Granary Square, the Brunswick Centre, and Euston Station.

“We wanted to show them that they didn’t have to wait for handouts,” said Tim Barnes, who is director of UCL Advances, and set up the programme in Camden last year.

“We gave them a basic kit of a table, chopping board, knife, lemon squeezers, and caskets of fresh water. They bought the lemons from budgets we gave them, and it took off from there.

“Every single group made enough for each person to go home with profits of between £20 and £40.

"We had a wide range of ethnicities and backgrounds which meant lots of interesting lemonade mixes.

"We had Caribbean twists, Indian spices and Bengali cloves adding flavour.

“But one of the reasons it works is that it appeals to such a wide range of skills.

"There were some people who were good at numbers, and they did the accounts, others who did the organising, and then you had the louder, more boisterous kids who were great at going up to members of the public they didn’t know and turning the charm on and saying, ‘buy this now!’.”

The project was inspired by Mr Barnes’s visit to the  US in 2010, where he attended a business conference discussing a similar model used in deprived areas of the States to engage young people in entrepreneurship.

Later in the year Mr Barnes applied for an EU project grant and by July last year dozens in Camden had signed up for the scheme, which uses UCL resources and includes workshops on business skills.

Students from South Camden Community School, William Ellis, Acland Burghley, Highgate School, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson school, Marylebone High School and King’s Cross Borough Neighbourhood Association took part.

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