State

Annual cookie sale opens for business

MAINE — Girl Scouts of Maine’s 2019 Girl Scout Cookie season is underway with cookie booths open across the state March 1 through 31, celebrating the largest financial investment in girls annually in the United States and a powerful entrepreneurship incubator for the next generation of female leaders.

According to Laura Genese, marketing and communications director for Girl Scouts of Maine, at a time when girls’ needs and issues collect fewer than 8 cents of every dollar granted by philanthropic foundations in the country, each cookie purchase is key to supporting the change-makers of today and tomorrow.

Research shows that female-founded startups generate more revenue over time and per dollar than male-founded start-ups, but only 17 percent of start-ups are female-founded. Given that over half (53 percent) of female entrepreneurs and business owners are Girl Scout alums, supporting Girl Scouts as they make sales and learn essential business skills is imperative to ensuring our country has a strong workforce and economy, Genese said in a press release.

The cookie program enables girls to discover their inner leadership potential and use their earnings to power amazing experiences for themselves and their troops, including travel, outdoor adventure, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming. Many girls put the money toward impactful community projects right in their own backyards, from supporting animal shelters and food banks to working with local and state legislators to change laws.

Genese cited a recent Girl Scout Research Institute study which found that two out of three girls who participate in the program learn five crucial skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics, all while doing things for themselves and their communities.

Additionally, she added, 100 percent of cookie sale proceeds stay in Maine.

“The Girl Scout Cookie Sale Program is so much more than just selling cookies,” said Joanne Crepeau, CEO of Girl Scouts of Maine. “Girls are learning significant life skills, and just as important, the sale from every box of cookies impacts local communities across Maine.

“Girls decide how they want to invest their funds from their earnings,” Crepeau said. “This could mean anything from supporting other local non-profits like Ronald McDonald House, to building awareness for animal safety, to creating multi-cultural connections with a mentorship program with refugee students at local high schools.”

For more information, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free on iOS and Android devices.

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