Andre Spicer and his 5-year-old daughter started out cheerful last weekend of July 22, as they set up their lemonade stand near the venue of a musical festival. However, what was supposed to be a refreshing commerce experience for the little entrepreneur, turned sour when four Tower Hamlets law enforcers arrived at the stall, issued a fine of £150, and sent father and child packing. The young girl wept all the way home and kept asking dad if she did something unlawful.
After writing a column about the experience on The Telegraph, Spicer and family received massive support from friends and other people who felt for the little girl. Sympathizers have been sending invites to put up a lemonade stand at bazaars and fetes. The London borough council has apologized for the incident and cancelled the fine.
The young Spicer’s run-in with the police officers is an experience the youth in other countries can relate to. Setting up seasonal food stands is customary in many places, but can be considered illegal if vending is done without a permit. But, for purposes of encouraging kids to do a variety of activities during school break, the idea of selling homemade goods the old-fashioned way is a good start in educating kids on free enterprise. It should not be suppressed or sanctioned by law enforcers unless the activity is a threat to the public’s interest.
In the Philippines, setting up a refreshment stand, locally called ‘palamigan’ or ‘halu-haluan’, is a summer entrepreneurial activity. Kids enjoy helping out with the food preparation and offering their goods in the neighbourhood. Since it is something seasonal or short-lived, local authorities do not require sellers a permit to sell. Local refreshments are also coupled with easy-to-prepare snacks made of crops or fruits in season. And with the lifestyle trend of choosing organic nourishment over processed foods, consumers tend to patronize these simple foods.
Learning about free trade or entrepreneurship at a young age can be a worthwhile experience. Some associates at Datablazers have tried selling refreshments like iced coconut or fruit popsicles and native snacks like banana cue, crepes, and rice cakes in their childhood days. Recalling the fun-filled experience puts a smile on their faces. These, as they would say, were more recreational than spending time on digital devices the whole day.