At just 8 years old, Elijah Silva is CEO of a lemonade stand business and a nonprofit

Abu Mubarik April 23, 2024
Elijah Silva's nonprofit serves kids in underserved communities through arts and crafts for free. Photo: Elijah Cares

Eight-year-old Elijah Silva is an entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, and CEO of his family’s nonprofit. The third-grader from Hemet has been a Chamber of Commerce member since June 2022.

His entrepreneurship journey began when he was only four years old. At that age, he expressed his desire to operate a lemonade stand, as reported by Valley News.

“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 business inspired him to look for other business ventures. He told his mother he wanted a candy business, and she felt that purchasing gumball machines was a simple way to start.

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

“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 instrumental in his journey. Delesia, with her organizational management background and DIY skills, helped Silva establish the nonprofit, Elijah Cares.

Its mission is to use educational opportunities to empower youth. “My nonprofit serves kids in underserved communities through arts and crafts for free,” Silva said.

Aside from his business, he is also an author. He has two books to his credit. In addition to his work as a contracted motivational speaker, Sigma Beta Xi Youth and Family Services recruited him as a Youth Commissioner with Youth Empowerment for Community Enrichment.

In February, Black Voices of the Valley honored Silva with its Youth Entrepreneurship Award, explaining that it was impressed with his managerial skills.

“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.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 23, 2024


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