More than 50 percent of female entrepreneurs and business owners in the United States are former Girl Scouts, according to a 2015 study by the Girl Scout Research Institute. As the skills used for starting a business can translate to creativity and innovation in any job, the Girl Scouts continues to make a big investment in teaching those skills. Last week, 11 Girl Scouts participated in the annual Girl Scouts of Central Texas Cookie Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition to win the chance to sell bulk orders to local businesses.
“This opportunity allowed our girls to build important foundations, like goal setting and people skills, and to build confidence in and learn to articulate their ideas,” said Kellye Kosanda of Girl Scouts of Central Texas. The pitches were judged by a panel of representatives from various community organizations and small businesses, including Amy’s Ice Creams, Adisa Communications, VentureLab, PeopleFund, Business and Community Lenders of Texas, and the City of Austin.
One of this year’s pitch competition participants was Marillah King, a senior at Pflugerville High School in her twelfth year of scouting. She won the opportunity to sell Thin Mint cookies to Amy’s Ice Cream. “Selling Girl Scout Cookies is one of my absolute favorite things to do in Girl Scouts,” said King.”It allows me to meet new people and to give back to the community.” King currently holds the record in cookie sales for Central Texas, having sold 7,227 boxes of cookies just last year. This year, she’s aiming for 10,000 boxes. She offered advice to others hoping to reach cookie-sale goals.
“Set your goal and stick to it!” she said. “Sell, sell, sell. Do not give up an opportunity to go out and sell. Create an email list and add to it every year with people who are your loyal customers. Never turn down a cookie booth, sell at school and church and other private organizations that you are part of. I advise girls who want to sell a lot to not be afraid to let the world know you are a Girl Scout and that you are selling cookies.”
Last year, 11,251 girls in Central Texas sold more than 2.8 million boxes of cookies in just six weeks, according to Girl Scouts of Central Texas. Girls use proceeds from cookie sales toward various projects, from troop celebrations and trips to more philanthropic goals. King says she used her funds to start a program that helped provide camp scholarships to other Girl Scouts. “The committee chose three girls, and I’m super excited!” she said. The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest financial investment in girls annually in the United States. Cookie-selling season runs January 15 to February 23.