Mellody Hobson talks about how the Girl Scouts can teach a thing or two about money and business.
I’m not sure if you noticed, but it’s Girl Scout cookie season. I hate to play favorites, but nothing beats a frozen Thin Mint.
Whatever your poison, Girl Scout cookies are big business. In the organization’s century-long history, the cookies have played a major part in funding. And grown-ups can learn a thing or two from their business model.
The biggest advantage the girl scouts have, in addition to their adorable little pint-sized sales reps, is that they have mastered the art of supply and demand. The cookies are good, but they’re not AMAZING. So why the annual frenzy? How have they built a $700 million cookie empire? A key ingredient to Girl Scout cookie mania is the scarcity effect: the fact that you can only buy the cookies once a year adds a sense of urgency to lock in those orders.
So the scouts have it all figured out.
Actually, they don’t, and that’s primarily what I want to talk about today. The cookie business was created not only to help fund the Girl Scouts’ endeavors, but also to help the girls themselves learn about business. The five stated skills are setting goals, better decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics. The Girl Scouts’ research arm conducted a recent survey and it that found that 88% of girls interviewed do not feel confident making financial decisions. 88%!
The study interviewed over 1,000 girls age 8-17. Another troubling statistic that came up was nearly half the girls agreed that debt was “a normal part of life.”
Unfortunately, I think these statistics say a lot about our whole country. Our young girls are not financially literate or confident. And it’s not for lack of trying on the part of the Scouts. In 2011, the Girl Scouts introduced a new set of personal finance-themed patches to help the young women handle their financial futures. The badges include “Good Credit,” “Money Manager” and “Budgeter.” That is a great start. And the real-world experience the Scouts provides with the cookie business is also wonderful.
What if your daughter isn’t a Girl Scout or you have sons?
Increasing financial literacy is my mission. And when we’re talking about young people, it starts at home—because for some crazy reason unbeknownst to me, we STILL don’t teach anything money-management related in school. The onus is on parents to start a dialogue with their kids, to help them to save and learn about how to make smart financial decisions.
When it comes to the Girl Scouts, sometimes their experiences are all too real world. Get this, a troupe in Oregon learned a hard lesson in business ethics when a corporate order for 6,000 boxes of cookies turned out to be a hoax. At $4 a pop, that was $24,000 of sugary goodness they were left with, because it was too late to cancel the order. It was so sad! In interviews, the girls said things like, “I don’t know what we’re going to do. That’s…a lot of cookies.” Luckily, the town rallied behind the troupe and purchased the cookies, box by box.
Is it too late to order cookies?
You can’t pre-order but you can download the Girl Scout Cookie app to find out when a troupe might be selling near you!
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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