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May 29, 201311:12 AMOpen for Business

with Jody Glynn Patrick

Girls in biz – does it get better than this?

(page 1 of 2)

“I have learned that I can speak in a community,” Quinn Buob wrote of the lessons she learned while participating in the 2012-13 GIRLS'BIZ class, sponsored by Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs Southcentral, Inc. and the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin, Badgerland Council. Buob added, “I have the confidence and a sense of humor. I noticed every time I spoke, I made the WWE woman laugh. I also noticed I have joy. Whoever I spoke to left happy. I also learned that not everyone likes the things/products that we sell.”

This week I had the honor of attending the graduation ceremony, held at the Fluno Center, for participating sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade girls in area middle schools. Each young lady stood and gave a one-sentence summary of what she’d learned, and comments included, “I learned all about how to start a business” and “I learned I like adults more than I thought” – a nod to the generous women who have mentored them throughout the year.

Sally Hestad, Hestad Law Office, is the program director. GIRLS'BIZ is a community program that “empowers middle school girls to start and run their own businesses and spend their profits on a group trip and a contribution to charity. WWE developed the program in 1995-1996 and our community partner is the Girl Scouts of Badgerland Council. The program meets on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8 p.m. from September through April, and joins WWE for some of their Tuesday evening meetings. Each September we assemble a new group.”

Each year, the girls form and name a company and work with a designer to create a logo. This year they formed the H.O.P.E. Company (Helpful Overachieving Powerful Entrepreneurs), and at the conclusion of their business activities they provided shareholders (WWE) with an annual report.

“I learned how to keystone,” Gabi Roth proudly announced. “It is a way to make profit on your wholesale. You take the initial price and double it.” The practical experience was buying chocolate malted milk balls, toffee almonds, and chocolate-covered caramel candies for $1.50 wholesale and then selling them for $3. Sadie Thorson reported, “We sold out of the chocolates right away, so I would definitely sell them next year if people are willing to buy them. However, they are not fair trade, which is a downside.” Quinn added, “We kept eating the products and we realized they were the only ones left. Oops.”


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