11-year-old CEO and social activist Mikaila Ulmer of Me & The Bees has appeared on Shark Tank, NBC News, and introduced President Barack Obama at the White House. The 4A’s is proud to feature her as a keynote speaker at our upcoming Strategy Festival, October 16-18.
What were you doing when you were 11 years old? Were you acting as chairman and chief executive officer of a buzzed-about beverage company? That’s exactly what preteen Mikaila Ulmer is doing. When she was just four years old, she was stung by two bees in the same week. Instead of getting angry and upset with the bees, her parents encouraged her to do some research on what they do. Upon discovering the important role bees play in our ecosystem, Mikaila was determined to help them.
In 2009, she became a young entrepreneur and used her Great Granny Helen’s flaxseed honey lemonade recipe from the 1940’s to launch Me & the Bees Lemonade from her home in Austin, Texas.
“I love honey, “ she says. “And as a social entrepreneur, I love educating families about the importance of bees in our ecosystem. A portion of my profits go to organizations working hard to help honeybees.”
Mikaila went on to land a $60,000 deal with Daymond John on the show Shark Tank. Today, the award-winning lemonade is flying off the shelves of Whole Foods Market, Starbucks and natural and organic food stores across the country. The Whole Foods deal was reportedly worth $11 million. It is available in four flavors.
“I think she is a pretty hard worker,” D’Andra Ulmer, Mikaila’s mother, told NBCBLK. “I’m impressed with how she gets her homework done during her travels. She has a gift for public speaking but what makes me very proud is that she is not only a smart entrepreneur but she’s a good person and she’s kind to people. That’s more important than business.”
Mikaila has shared her story with Good Morning America, NBC News, The Real, Forbes and TIME among others, and has been invited to speak on social entrepreneurship at prestigious gatherings including the White House United State of Women Summit, where she introduced President Barack Obama, Microsoft We Day, alongside Satya Nadella and the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network Summit in South Africa.