In today’s world, where there’s a lot of information and plenty of things vying for your attention, teaching young people about important finance concepts can be tough. That’s where the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship steps in with its unique approach, using entertainment content as a gateway to financial education. Through their programs, they’re turning the often-dull subject of finances into an engaging and entertaining journey for young adults stepping into the real world.
The Singleton Foundation has a simple goal: to inspire entrepreneurship and provide accessible financial education to all, regardless of their current situation. Through leveraging the captivating nature of entertainment and storytelling, they aim to engage audiences and educate the masses on financial literacy.
CEO of the Singleton Foundation, Shelley Miles, emphasizes the importance of fostering entrepreneurial skills, problem-solving skills, and financial competence in the modern world. Recognizing the importance of these skills for young adults, the foundation focuses on integrating them into their educational programs.
At the center of Singleton Foundation’s work is “Million Stories,” a free digital television channel that utilizes entertainment to address financial and entrepreneurial topics in a more entertaining way.
Shelley highlights that the goal was to create content that competes with daily distractions on people’s phones. “We really wanted to create entertainment content that could compete with all the stuff people get on their phones. Nowadays, people’s attention spans are so short, that making entertaining content that is as good as what they watch on a daily basis is key.” She adds, “The content that we create is designed to be relatable with the viewers with real people and scenarios they can relate to.”
Million Stories itself boasts a variety of captivating series that delve into various topics. Whether it’s “Your World on Money,” simple explanations of basic financial concepts, “Faceplant,” an exploration of resilience when faced with failure, or “Blue Collar, White Collar, No Collar,” a reflection of the future of work, the platform’s content is as varied as the experiences it seeks to enhance.
Among its most popular series, “Heartbroke” explores the complexities of money in relationships, while the series “Ramen Profitable” explores the early stages of businesses, going through the journey of building a company from the ground up and the steps that come with it.
In addition to their entertaining series, Venture Valley is an esports-like video game the foundation has launched where players are able to take on the role of a business owner, learn the in’s and outs of entrepreneurship, while also competing alone or against other players utilizing the skills they develop. Through a partnership with Discovery Education, the platform has been able to reach over 51 million students and 5 million educators all across the United States available on IOS, Android and Steam. With talented game development teams from Universal, Sega, PlayStation, EA, Disney and Big Fish Games, they’ve built an environment where players can have fun, while also learning how to navigate the business landscape through a gamified experience.
Other programs from the foundation include Groove —a personalized platform designed to help users learn money management skills through bite-sized learning and goal setting and Slyngshot, which allows users to develop and launch their business ideas with only a pair of thumbs and a compelling vision through a web application.
Their efforts to educate the global population on financial literacy and entrepreneurship have not gone unnoticed, with their content garnering over 200 million video views, engaging more than 850,000 followers and subscribers on Million Stories in 2022.
The best part? Their approach has had a real impact with 86% of users learning about profitable business practices, 83% inspired to make better financial choices, and 63% expressing interest in launching their own businesses!
But it doesn’t stop there, with the foundation receiving a total of 16 Telly Awards for their exceptional video content, demonstrating their ability to tell captivating stories as well as the esteemed Jump$tart 2023 Innovation Award, a testament to their transformative work in finance literacy.
The Singleton Foundation: How to Get Involved
“Money is not boring; it impacts every aspect of your life,” Shelley says. Through Million Stories, Shelley and the foundation aim to create an engaging and entertaining learning experience for all participants. As part of their mission, the Singleton Foundation provides free content that promotes universal access to financial education. Shelley mentions, “We’ve made it free to ensure accessibility for all. We’re committed to removing barriers, ensuring your current situation doesn’t affect your access to education!”
As the Singleton Foundation expands, their goal is to provide a wider range of content and tools that help individuals take charge of their lives. Through their initiatives, the foundation is dedicated to creating a better financial future for generations to come.