8-Year-Old Elijah Silva Runs a Lemonade Stand Business and Nonprofit

Elijah Silva is an eight-year-old entrepreneur, novelist, motivational speaker, and CEO of his family’s organization. The Hemet third-grader joined the Chamber of Commerce in June 2022.

His entrepreneurial journey started when he was four years old. According to Valley News, he had expressed a desire to own a lemonade stand when he was younger.

“Though I initially promised to make it happen, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that I finally took action,” his mother, Delesia Silva, said. “Prompted by a friend who shared an article about Country Time Lemonade offering COVID relief funds to kids unable to operate stands, I was inspired to kickstart Elijah’s Gumdrop Lemonade venture.”

Silva successfully established Elijah’s Gumdrop Lemonade at age five, setting up shop twice a week for two hours near his home with his parents’ support.

“I sell around two and one-half gallons, which is around 24 16-oz. cups,” Silva stated about his business. “I know that revenue minus expenses equals profit.”

The success of his firm prompted him to explore for new opportunities. He told his mother he wanted to establish a candy business, and she thought buying gumball machines was a simple way to get started.

The eight-year-old recently placed his fifth gumball machine in the Chamber of Commerce’s office.

“I like serving the community,” he said. “I asked the owners if I could place my gumball machine in their business and offered them a percentage of the profits.”

His parents, Delesia and Luis, both U.S. Navy veterans, have been supportive throughout his adventure. Delesia, who has experience in organizational management and DIY, assisted Silva in establishing Elijah Cares, a nonprofit organization.

Its purpose is to use educational opportunities to empower young people. “My nonprofit serves kids in underserved communities through arts and crafts for free,” Silva went on to say.

Aside from his business, he is a novelist. He has two books to his credit. In addition to his contract job as a motivational speaker, Sigma Beta Xi Youth and Family Services hired him as a Youth Commissioner with Youth Empowerment for Community Enrichment.

Silva received the Black Voices of the Valley Youth Entrepreneurship Award in February, stating that his managerial abilities amazed them.

“He has the maturity and ability to grasp the requirements of what is needed to become a successful businessman in life,” Black Voices of the Valley director Stephanie Bruce said. “He is truly an exceptional young man and a role model for other youth in our community.”

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