The Young Entrepreneur Inspiring Kids Everywhere

By Denise Jewell Gee
The Buffalo News, N.Y.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Zandra Cunningham may be the next new ambassador for women entrepreneurship. The young woman launched a line of natural lip balms and body butters just shy of her 10th birthday. Now at 15 years old, this entrepreneur is speaking up and putting herself out there as a community leader.

The Buffalo News, N.Y.

What does today’s Girl Scout look like? Meet Zandra Cunningham.

At 15, with jeweled magenta eyeglasses and a trademarked signature, Zandra already knows the power of her brand. Her name graces bottles of lemon tea tree hand lotion and mint vegan body wash in shops across Buffalo and in five different states. She’s spoken before 1,300 teens and traveled to Mexico to tell her story to a network of independent business owners.

Girl Scouts still have cookies and badges and campfires. Girls still make new friends and keep the old. But, like Zandra, they’re also writing business plans, learning to speak out and finding out what it means to be an agent of change.

The organization founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912 has spent the four years since its centennial celebration dusting off its image to keep up with the ever-increasing demands on today’s girls that have drained members across the country.

The Girl Scouts have pushed cookie sales online, revamped badges and are rolling out new ways to engage customers so that girls and troop leaders can spend more time on the fun stuff and less time on paperwork.

But what may be the best hope for updating and marketing the Girl Scouts to a generation of girls steeped in technology and opportunity harkens back to the organization’s beginnings.

Girl Scouts learn how to lead.

“We’ve been doing it for 104 years,” said Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “It’s in everything we do. It’s girl-led, and so from their perspective, they’re practicing leadership on a daily basis.”

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