Did you know the Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-run business in the world? The Girl Scout Cookie Program produces $790 million dollars in annual sales with 200 million cookie packages a year to more than 50 million customers. For three months of each year, Girl Scouts around the country venture into the entrepreneurial world to learn business and financial skills and earn money to fund their Girl Scouting goals. Through “learning by earning,” Girl Scouting aims to empower girls through the development of five essential skills: goal setting, money management, people skills, decision making, and business ethics.
In the spring of 2012, the Girl Scout Research Institute set out to understand the extent to which Girl Scouts actually develop these five essential skills, as well as to examine the specific ways girls benefit from their participation in the Cookie Program. Survey responses from more than 1,400 Girl Scout Brownies and Juniors representing various regions of the country provided compelling evidence that girls do benefit from the Girl Scout Cookie Program through development of these essential skills.
A Positive Impact on Girls’ Lives
Girls who developed the five skills were more likely to report that they learned new things while selling cookies that will help them in school and other areas of their life than girls who did not (93% vs. 63% respectively).
Overall, 96% of girls reported that selling cookies was fun. Learning by earning made it even more fun. Girls were more likely to report cookie selling as fun when they developed the five skills than when they did not (98% vs. 90%, respectively).
Even though the vast majority of Girl Scouts were eager to sell cookies next year (95%), those who had achieved the five skills were even more eager than those who did not (95% vs. 90%, respectively).