Crowdsourcing and ten year old Vivienne Harr’s lemonade stand share significant and abundant similarities. In fact, Vivienne’s lemonade stand embodies the concept of crowdsourcing in a captivating and effective way.
Vivienne began her entrepreneurial journey when she started selling lemonade on the side of the road to raise money for human trafficking victims. She had a sign that simply read “Make a Stand.” Aptly named because she was encouraging people to buy her lemonade and make a stand against slavery. The “Make a Stand” movement evolved into a lemonade business that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for human trafficking victims.
So how did a ten year old manage to incorporate Crowdsourcing into her small business and create the “engine of change” in the anti-slavery movement? Vivienne was passionate about ending modern-day slavery and didn’t think about the obstacles, but rather the possibilities when she stated, “You don’t have to be big or powerful to change the world. You can be just like me”. With a simple goal in mind, she set out to use the resources available to her. She didn’t have a huge marketing campaign or put advertisements on TV. She had a father in marketing and mother who believed in her ambitious goal. Although she had her parents, if Vivienne wanted to change the world with her lemonade stand then she needed to find an effective way of getting the word out to the masses. Not only did she need to get the word out, but she needed to convince other people to be as passionate about her cause as she was.
Here is where crowdsourcing comes in. Crowdsourcing is taking the resources you have available to you and turning them into valuable assets. This can be done through Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is the baby of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is gathering information and research, whereas Crowdfunding is taking your research and data and using it to promote and fund your cause amongst investors or donators.
A prime example of crowdfunding is demonstrated through Vivienne Harr’s “Make a Stand” campaign. Vivienne’s father would take pictures of his daughter diligently selling lemonade every single day, rain or shine, and he would post it on social media. As a result, people were inspired by this young girls’ goal to stop human trafficking and as a result, they shared her story. As the story spread, people were moved to join Vivienne in her effort to end slavery. Vivienne’s dedication to selling lemonade made people think, “If a ten year old could support the cause, why can’t I?” This is precisely the idea of Crowdsourcing; inspiring others to be passionate about your cause so they will support you.
As more and more people showed up to purchase Vivienne’s lemonade to “make a stand” against slavery, Vivienne was in business. Soon, other children were making their own “stands” against slavery and Vivienne had a movement on her hands. As she gained supporters, the next reasonable step was to take all of the support and funds to the next level. The “Make a Stand” lemonade brand was born when Vivienne raised $1 million to start bottling her own lemonade for Make a Stand Inc.. Her company also created a t-shirt people could wear to promote the cause, and a children’s storybook was also published that illustrated Vivienne’s story. This allowed “Make a Stand” to not only reach the older demographics who have social media, but also children. Because of young Vivienne’s initiative, her company encourages all demographics and ages to come together in order to be effective. The mission of Make a Stand Inc. is to “build a brand that becomes most scalable and sustainable ‘engine of change’ the anti-slavery movement has ever seen.’”
How did Vivienne accomplish all of this? She was passionate about her cause, spread the word through the resources she had available to her, inspired others, and gained supporters. Vivienne’s story is the essence of Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding. Vivienne had little on her hands when starting what she hoped would be a revolution. She didn’t have people investing in her lemonade stand on the side of the road, and she didn’t have years of life experience to know what steps needed to be taken to formulate a business. However, she was able to take hold of the resources she had to implement Crowdsourcing in her own unique way. Vivienne, along with the help of those close to her, utilized the technology and resources available to her in order to fuel the “engine of change” she was so passionate about.