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Eleven-year twins Gunner and Hunter Greer are two happy sixth graders this week. They have just been declared winners of the 2008 INC. Magazine's 'Best Lemonade Stand in America' Contest. In addition to the fame, they also received a $1,000 USD Savings Bond and a Nintendo DS Game.
When Gunner and Hunter first thought of their business idea, it was not for INC. Magazine's contest, but an end-of-year school project assigned to them by their mother, who homeschools them.
They had to do it all - come up with a concept, write a business plan, find investors to fund them and figure out how they were going to make money. Luckily for them, they came up with the idea of selling lemonade. However, even when their mother found out about the contest, she didn't tell them - instead she made them fill out the application, as though it was still a part of the school project.
Gunner and Hunter, who live in Ocean Isle Beach, a coastal town in North Carolina , decided to create a lemonade stand that resembled a beach shack, which they set-up nearby their parent's retail store. In order to fund the business, they had to search for investors and found some willing ones in the grandparents, who agreed to pay for the initial costs.
Coming up with a name and logo was easy - Since they love sharks and were making lemonade, it made sense to name it Lemon Shark, and the logo of course, was a shark biting into a lemon!
Once the shack was ready, the twins started to ponder over the product - ordinary lemonade was too boring. They decide to spruce things up by offering three flavors - regular, pink strawberry and sugar free, all served with crushed ice and topped with a slice of fresh lemon or lime.
Hunter and Gunner's foray into entrepreneurship taught them a number of important lessons. One that they had to be nice to their customers, two that running a business was very hard work and finally and most important of all, earning money was even harder!
However, they also felt very proud when customers praised their lemonade as the 'best' they had ever had - and now they have the INC. Magazine award to prove that. No word on whether they are planning to return next summer.
In addition to the 'Best Lemonade Stand', winners for the 'Best Design' and 'Best Story' were also announced. To read about them check out this link: www.inc.com/lemonade/2008/winners.html.