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Today's Girls, Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs


Newest Girl Scout Study Shows Girls Are Eager to Be Entrepreneurs

GSUSA recently announced the release of a new study, Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs, conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI). The report focuses on what today’s girls want and need to fulfill their entrepreneurial futures. To find out, the GSRI conducted a nationwide survey with 1,506 girls ages 8−17 to better understand how they experience and aspire toward entrepreneurial pursuits. The report findings were released on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (Nov. 19) which brought attention to the importance of supporting girls’ entrepreneurial ambitions.

At GSACPC, we know that Girl Scouts are already actively engaged in entrepreneurial activities and contributing their energy and ideas to benefit the community. We are excited to share that the study shows just how confident girls are in their entrepreneurial abilities. Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs provides great perspective into what we as a community can do to help girls achieve their goals.

The study found that an impressive 92% of girls say they are smart enough to be an entrepreneur, and 89% are already engaged in entrepreneurial activities. Six in ten girls have an entrepreneurial mindset—a set of skills or qualities, like curiosity and confidence, that are linked to entrepreneurial success. In terms of demographics, Black and Latina girls show the highest rate of interest in being an entrepreneur and starting their own business.

Girl Scouts’ definition of entrepreneurial mindset merges innovation and strategic risk-taking with a focus on social impact and collaboration. Additional study findings are available online.

We know that girls can change the world because they already are! At GSACPC, girls are making lasting impacts in their communities through projects such as Goodwill donation drives, donating toys and food to animal shelters, and environmental conservation through recycling projects throughout Arizona.

Girl Scouts were included in the study to gauge how effectively Girl Scouting helps develop girls’ entrepreneurial skills. The results showed that girls who participated in Girl Scout programming had an edge over girls who hadn’t; on average, Girl Scouts are twice as likely to have done entrepreneurial activities, are more likely to want to be an entrepreneur in the future and are more likely to have an entrepreneurial mindset!

Girl Scout programming, like financial literacy badges and the Girl Scout Cookie Program, give girls chances to explore entrepreneurship in a safe space.

The study also provides a window into how girls see their futures in the entrepreneurship space, the challenges, and where they need our support to move forward. Girls are clear about what they want: more information, mentorship, and encouragement through related courses; the opportunity to be mentored by an entrepreneur; increased encouragement from family, friends, and teachers; and assistance overcoming the fear of failure.

Business industry studies show that as a country, we still have a long way to go before women are equally represented in the entrepreneurship space—only 5% of CEOs and 12% of other top executives in the S&P 500 are women, and female-founded start-ups accounted for only 20% of start-ups overall, according to a 2014 report.2 Our future leaders are indicating this can all change dramatically in the coming years.

Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs reveals how girls are excited and aspire to be entrepreneurs. Now it is time for communities across the country to listen to girls and provide the tools and support they need to get them there.

The Girl Scout Research Institute partnered with Decision Analyst, LLC to conduct qualitative research with 1,506 girls ages 8–17 across the United States (31% ages 8–10, 41% ages 11–13, and 28% ages 14–17). These national samples aligned with U.S. Census data for youth ages 8–17 with respect to race/ethnicity, urbanicity, geographical region, and household income. Additionally, 24% of the sample were Girl Scouts.

Data sources cited in Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs.