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Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute

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(AEI) pronounced “a, e, i”

Money, Money, Money. As adults, the use and exchange of money is perhaps the one skill that each and every person is required to use every single day. However, schools don’t often teach required courses in personal finance or money management. The Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute is committed to creating a skill set in students that promotes smart financial decision making - both for themselves and for our greater economy. In addition, we empower our students to recognize that their thoughts are things - and that their creativity and imagination can become real and transformative contributions to our world. The wholly sequenced, year-long curriculum incorporates economics, personal finance, organizational leadership and entrepreneurship, preparing students to be confident and equipped creators and collaborators.

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By the time a student graduates from Aspen Academy, he/she will understand the following factors in financial literacy:

  • Students will understand principles of personal money management including budgeting and managing accounts.
  • Students will be able to make informed purchasing decisions and be vigilant when making decisions to avoid fraud.
  • Students will be able to describe and discuss the impact of credit and debt on personal money management.
  • Students will identify needs in society and ways to contribute that will help make the world a better place.



Differentiating Factor: Stock Market Experience
National research shows participation in stock market simulation programs improves test scores in economics, mathematics, and financial literacy.

By the time a student graduates from Aspen Academy, he/she will develop an appreciation for the value of understanding the following economic skills:

  • Students will understand key economic concepts and be able to use these concepts to be a self-sufficient consumer and producer in society.
  • Students will gain an understanding of different economic systems used throughout the world.
  • Students’ enhanced financial literacy will help to improve entitlement programs while combating a culture of entitlement.

Differentiating Factors:

A mini economy based on 8th grade business cohorts. The community includes applications for employment, interviews for specific positions, and jobs within each cohort. Students are given paychecks and must budget their pay for bills, including wi-fi and rent as well as the monthly auction.

Shark Tank

After creating their own innovations 8th graders will pitch their idea and product in a simulation of Shark Tank with community members as judges.

Tenets of Curriculum include:

  • Personal Finance
  • Organizational Leadership and Management
  • Economics
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship





Katie Becker

Aspen Youth Leadership Institute & Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute Director

Jennifer Gravlee

Aspen Youth Leadership Institute & Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute Coach

Looking for a speaker for an upcoming event?


We're available to provide engaging and actionable tips for parents from workplace lunch and learns and Mom's groups, to community groups and more! Sample topics include:

Need vs. Want: The Basis of Financial Acumen for 5-Year-Olds
One early fundamental of personal financial includes learning the difference between need and want. It’s an age-appropriate concept for early learners and this talk includes simple ways to support your child with understanding and bringing to life personal finance!

Systems of Mini-Economy: Home Systems that teach Money Management to Kids
Learn exciting ways to engage your child in sound money management practices—at any age.

Click here to schedule a speaker


Make the World Better Entrepreneur Profile: Project Bobby Bear

In 2014, when Annie and Emily Fox founded their non-profit called Project Baby Bear, they set out to make the world a better place one teddy bear at a time. Over the past five years, the pair have donated thousands of teddy bears to children and adults "who need a smile, a hug, or just a little extra love."

Read More about Make the World Better Entrepreneur Profile: Project Bobby Bear