Girl Scout Cookie season is fast approaching. And each and every year, the anticipation all around us builds as troops gear up for the sale and customers wait in anticipation for that first bite of Thin Mint or Caramel Delight!
For those of us inside the Girl Scout Movement however, we know that the sweet spot of the Girl Scout Cookie Program isn’t the treat itself – it’s the empowerment, business and financial literacy skills our girls gain through their participation each year. The Cookie Program allows girls to venture into the entrepreneurial world to learn business and financial skills, and to earn money to fund their Girl Scouting goals. Through “learning by earning,” girls develop five essential skills: goal setting, money management, people skills, decision making, and business ethics.
Research conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute has shown that participation in the Cookie Program has clear impact on girls:
- 85% of girls developed Money Management skills, reporting that they learned to develop budgets, and handle customers’ money.
- 83% of girls developed Business Ethics, learning to fulfill promises to customers, keep true to the Girl Scout Promise and Law in their business dealings, and consider how best to contribute to their communities with their earnings.
- 77% of girls developed the Decision Making skill, learning how to work as a team to develop a basic business plan, deciding when and where to sell cookies, and reaching agreements on what to do with the money they earned.
- 75% of girls developed People Skills, learning to talk, listen, and work with different kinds of people while selling cookies.
Significantly, more than half of the girls (55%) surveyed achieved all 5 skills. Most importantly, 96% of girls reported that selling cookies was fun and that in addition, they gained a great deal of satisfaction by earning money for their Girl Scout experience or investing their proceeds in community projects.
I’ve met many women in the business community who’ve told me that selling Girl Scout cookies planted seeds within them of business acumen and entrepreneurship. We know that it makes a difference.
So, when you encounter a girl selling cookies, ask her about her goals, and encourage her learning. Positive customer experiences stimulate a girl’s confidence and give us all a role to play in helping girls thrive as they build their financial savvy!
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