Girl Scouts of Maine’s 2019 Girl Scout Cookie season is underway with cookie booths open across the state March 1-31st, celebrating the largest financial investment in girls annually in the United States and a powerful entrepreneurship incubator for the next generation of female leaders. At a time when girls’ needs and issues collect fewer than eight cents of every dollar granted by philanthropic foundations in the country, each and every Girl Scout Cookie purchase is key to supporting the change-makers of today and tomorrow.

Research shows that female-founded start-ups generate more revenue over time and per dollar than male-founded start-ups, but only17 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.

Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls not only discover their inner leadership potential but also use their earnings to power amazing experiences for themselves and their troop, 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. And the cookie program’s benefits are many; a recent Girl Scout Research Institute study 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—while doing incredible things for themselves and their communities. 100 percent of the proceeds stay in Maine, meaning that when consumers purchase the delicious cookies that come from a registered Girl Scout only, they’re giving back to their wider community.

From purchasing supplies for local homeless shelters to funding service and educational trips around the world, Girl Scouts in Maine are doing remarkable things made possible by each and every cookie sale. However, girls’ cookie proceeds alone aren’t enough to power the Girl Scout Movement—investing in girls is important year-round, not just during cookie season.

“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. 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.”

Cookie booths can be found set up at local businesses around the state through the end of March. To find Girl Scouts selling cookies near you, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free on iOS and Android devices.

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