An 11 year old entrepreneur from the US has landed a $1 million deal with Whole Foods for her Bee Sweet lemonade.
Mikaila Ulmer had previously obtained a $60,000 Shark Tank deal when she was just 10. The show Shark Tank is a US version of the popular entrepreneur show, Dragon’s Den. Mikaila said she got the idea when she was just four years old after learning bees may become extinct.
She then began a lemonade business that uses honey instead of artificial sugar. Her great-grandmother’s recipe was the inspiration behind the lemonade.
Her drink soon became a huge hit and at the age of 9, she obtained the $60k cheque from Shark Tank to develop her idea. In an interview with NBC News, Mikaila spoke about how she decided to use honey to sweeten her lemonade instead of sugar.
“I didn’t enjoy the bee stings at all. They scared me. But then something strange happened. I became fascinated with bees. I learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem. So then I thought, ‘What if I make something that helps honeybees and uses my Great-Granny Helen’s recipe?’
“That’s how BeeSweet Lemonade was born. It comes from my Great-Granny Helen’s flaxseed recipe and my new love for bees. So that’s why we sweeten it with local honey. And today my little idea continues to grow.”
Her lemonade is now sold at 55 whole foods stores. As a result of her success, Mikaila has been invited to the White House and gives speeches on entrepreneurship at business events.
A quarter of the proceeds from her drink will go to beekeepers and will be used to protect them.
“Last year, beekeepers lost 40 percent of all their hives,” Mikaila said. “Bees are dying.” And in the words of Albert Einstein, Mikaila continued, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left.”
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