Girl Scout & Young Entrepreneur Places in Shark-Tank Style Competition

Sahara Mathis

In February, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland partnered with BIZKidz Academy to offer a six week entrepreneurship program for Girl Scouts that culminated with with a Market Day Expo and Shark Tank competition that was open to kidpreneurs from across the area.

One of those kidpreneurs was Girl Scout and go-getter, Sahara. Armed with her passion for her hand-made soap business, and the skills she learned in BIZKidz Academy, Sahara went into the competition full steam ahead and came out with a second place win for her “outstanding business pitch, leadership qualities & remarkable growth as a young entrepreneur.”

Here’s what Girl Scout Sahara had to say about her Biz Kidz experience:

The winds blew softly against my face as I exited the car. My heart was pounding, knowing that walking into a new room full of new faces would always be one of my biggest fears. I neared the building with a cautious mind. The Girl Scouts emblem shone invitingly on the glass door, reminding me that I belong here alongside the other young women.

I felt my heart soften as the colorful interior walls of the building came into view.
I was guided down a long, sky blue hallway to a closed door. I hesitated. I couldn’t be sure what would meet me on the other side of it. Slowly, I opened the door…
Bright smiling faces greeted me, all of which were inviting and excited, with just a hint of nervousness hidden behind the eyes. I knew I wasn’t alone in my trepidation, and I knew I wasn’t alone in my thrills.

I took a seat against the far wall and set up shop; plugging in my computer, uncapping my pens. I was ready to learn.

Class after class I was gulping down information and experiences; I was living. Everyday we came closer and closer to our finale, the Shark Tank competition. We were restless, eager to get our hands on success. We had to use everything we’d learned; “Price, Product, Promotion, Place”, presentation, a little psychology and a lot of preparation.

The competition couldn’t come fast enough, however once it had rolled around, we were anxious. A few Girl Scouts in my class and I had grown rather close over the few months we had known each other, and we shared the same fears. And yet, we dove in head-first.

My table was set up in half an hour, all my delicacies carefully displayed in such a fashion as to attract the attention of even the most quick glances. My heart began to pound, reminding me of that very first day, before I could even step into the first building. I looked around at the people surrounding me, at the ceiling, at the light fixtures. I had made it so far. I had made it.

The whole occasion lasted a day, though it felt like just a few minutes. The award ceremony was exhilarating. My heart was racing, name after name was called out; some I had recognized. First, the elementary prizes were called, then middle school, and before I knew it, high school prizes were being announced. First, a dear friend I had met through the program was called to the stage and handed a big basket full of goodies. I couldn’t stop smiling. She was a ray of sunshine, lighting the room with her contagious smile, laugh and energy; she deserved the first place award. The room quieted, allowing for another name to be called. Patrons sat patiently. I sat restlessly. I could hardly wait. Suddenly, the speaker boomed yet another name. My name.

The competition was attended by Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford and Tracy Turner, Executive Director of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship. Violet M. Apple, CEO, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, was the keynote speaker.

Check out more photos from the event:

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About BIZKidz: BIZKidz Academy is a program offered by Le’Chic Academy Foundation and was founded by Dr. Marlene Jackson. Through the academy, children participate in workshops on various aspects of business ownership to inspire kids to start a business, make money and be their own boss. Workshops include: Written Communications and Computer Technology skills, Speech Writing and Presentation Skills, and Business Portfolio Development.

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