By: Joy Wheeler, CEO
If you placed the 3,710 boxes of Girl Scout cookies Paige Thomas sold last year end to end, they would stretch over five-and-a-half football fields. Just imagine how many vanloads, door-to-door visits and frigid cookie booth sessions that took. This year, she and her super-volunteer mom, Maggie, are bound to do it again.
Paige has been our top seller three years in a row, and she’s only 10 years old. Now, that’s a successful entrepreneur!
Business lessons from a
10-year old leader
Paige has learned multiple lessons in her five years of cookie selling – ones we can all use:
- Make eye contact when you speak to a customer.
- Keep your math skills sharp.
- Say thank you – whether you make the sale or not.
- When you don’t make the sale, don’t take it personally.
Paige has achieved a wealth of wisdom beyond her 10 years!
Entrepreneurship mindset has far-reaching effects
The Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches the entrepreneurial attributes of risk-taking, innovation and leadership development that are critical to the future of girls – and to the world. Girl Scouts are rewarded for their efforts in goal setting, budgeting and teamwork as they earn special awards and proceeds for their troop to use for their activities.
Recent Girl Scouts USA research explains that, “If girls are left out of the entrepreneurial space, they can suffer from long-term financial and career consequences that contribute to the leadership and wage gap between men and women. But when girls’ and women’s ideas for how to change the world are put into action, the economy gains revenue and society gains ingenuity.”
Girls are poised to be leaders in entrepreneurship. For example, six in 10 girls have an entrepreneurial mindset. About 78% are interested in becoming entrepreneurs, and 84% want to lead a cause or campaign in something they believe in. Yet, they face barriers – access to information about how to get started, access to the social and financial capital and technology to succeed, and perceptions of a glass ceiling related to gender. They have the interest and aptitude; we just need to support them in getting there!
Your help is needed
Girl Scouts programs – including the Cookie Program and the hundreds of other hands-on skill-building experiences support these principles and directly lead to changes in the world. We ARE the 51% Solution, and you can help make it happen:
- Visit a booth sale and buy cookies: Visit www.gsksmo.org/cookies or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free on iOS and Android devices.
- Recognize and celebrate the great things girls are already doing, and make sure they know these activities are the foundation for entrepreneurship.
- Acknowledge and encourage girls when they’re curious about how things work, adapting to change, collaborating with others and trying again when things don’t work the first time.
- Encourage girls to overcome the fear of failure.
- Give them the chance to try on entrepreneurship in safe spaces – like cookie sales.
- Ensure they have access to financial literacy education that grows as they do.
- Connect girls to mentors.
- Ask adult role models to commit to eliminating gender bias from their dialogue.
- Teach girls about social entrepreneurship, too – finding solutions to problems in their communities.
Learn more about how you can help support girl entrepreneurs as they seek to make the world better for all of us.