Girl Scouts have been selling cookies for 100 years, and in 2017 alone, 200 million boxes will be bought.
Yet according to the organization's top leader, those delicious treats come with a very serious purpose—and themselves represent big money.
"We have an $850 million dollar business," Sylvia Acevedo, Girl Scouts of USA interim CEO told CNBC's "On the Money" recently. She added the cookie program, in which she herself once participated, is a marketing training ground for young women.
"It teaches them the kind of life skills they need to be an entrepreneur. Teaches them how to set goals, create budgets and figure out how you're going to serve your customers," Acevedo said—in other words, real world business skills.
Fledgling young entrepreneurial Girl Scouts learn "how to make change, they're learning how to ask for the order, they're learning how to set budgets," the CEO said. "They create projects and then they have to figure out how am I going to fund the project? And that is all financial management."
She also said that money remains local, rather than going to the national headquarters. The cash funding "is what allows girls to have these amazing outdoors experiences, to have those outdoor camps or to have those "take action" projects in their own community."
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