The Girl Scouts have been preparing girls to become leaders — and to run their own businesses — for 100 years. (Last week, in fact, was the 100th anniversary of founding of the Girl Scouts of the USA by Juliette Gordon Low.) This is no idle claim: More than two thirds of the female members of Congress and an incredible 80% of women business owners were Girl Scouts. Clearly, there's something about this organization that really works.
What’s the Girl Scouts' secret? I can think of about six reasons the group does such a good job laying a foundation for girls to grow up to be their own boss.
1. They have to sell cookies: Yes, I know. After a couple decades of Thin Mints and Samoas in every office pantry this time of year, the Girl Scout cookie sale seems more like a charitable ritual than business training. But to girls doing it for the first or second time, it's not old hat. In fact, it's a challenge. Selling cookies teaches goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. Like entrepreneurs, girl scouts need to understand inventory control (how many boxes you will sell), marketing (door-to-door, a booth in front of a chain store, social media, mobile, etc.) and your place in the community (for Girl Scouts, that means deciding which nonprofit gets their profits). They even have to learn a little about mobile payments technology. Read complete Inc. article.