Anna Maria Chavez


The Largest Girl-Led Business in the World Teaches 5 Essential Leadership Skills

The young girl who knocks on your door to sell you Girl Scout cookies is actually preparing to lead a multinational conglomerate.

When I speak to audiences around the country, I often get the same reaction: "You're with the Girl Scouts? I love Girl Scout cookies." I have a confession to make: I love Girl Scout cookies, too. Granted, that may not be such a startling admission given that I'm the chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA. And Girl Scouts across the country do sell more than 200 million boxes a year—so clearly, I'm not alone in my affection for these tasty treats.

But while our cookies are a great product that millions of Americans enjoy once a year—we only sell cookies for three months—invariably I turn the conversation away from the cookies themselves and toward the program that has been the springboard for some of the nation’s most accomplished women in business and beyond. You see, Girl Scout cookies are so much more than an after dinner snack, and our cookie program is so much more than a fundraiser. You may not realize it, but when you buy a box of Girl Scout cookies, you are participating in the largest youth entrepreneurial program in the world—a program that does more than any other to teach girls basic business acumen and interpersonal skills that will serve them the rest of their lives.

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