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About the Author

teacher lecturing through online course


Rob Phelan is an entrepreneur and high school personal finance teacher in Maryland. He is a Certified Financial Education Instructor by NCFE and has also co-created the ChooseFI K-12 Financial Education Curriculum.

Through his classroom work and Simple StartUp Virtual courses, Rob has helped beginner entrepreneurs form over 250 new businesses, across all different types of industries.

When I was in 10th grade, my business studies teacher ran an entrepreneurship project that probably had the biggest impact on my education to date. It is one of my clearest memories from high school and the one I go back to when I am asked for my most influential life moments. In this project, two of my friends and I started a baking company where we sold cookies, brownies, and slices of cake to the students and staff in my school. Over 8 weeks we made over €500 (did I mention this was in Ireland?!) and acquired priceless skills and experience in the process. So I’ve been there. I’ve been a teen who started a business with no prior business experience or knowledge. My parents are both employees and did not own their own businesses at the time. All you need is some guidance and encouragement.

Once I became a personal finance teacher later in my career, I came back to the lessons I learned in my own school experience and I became driven to share the benefits of entrepreneurship with my students. Since starting, I have guided the creation of over 60 student businesses which have actually started and generated income. Some of them have even gone on to compete at local and state competitions!

What I quickly realized was that I was not alone in this desire to share entrepreneurship with our school-aged youth, and most personal finance curricula existing at the time did not include entrepreneurship as part of the course, even though increasing your income is one of the core pillars needed to improve your financial well-being and pursue Financial Independence. I was motivated to create a resource that could help parents and teachers bring the experience of an entrepreneurship project to their teens, and The Simple StartUp was born.

The Simple StartUp was published in February 2020, and has already begun impacting the lives of kids, teens, and adults around the country (and now the world too!!). Now I am even more passionate about getting out there and helping to change the lives of the youth in this country through my work with the ChooseFI International Foundation and The Simple StartUp.

I’m so excited to see what you create.