Stephens and Economics Arkansas Partner to Create PreK-12 Free-Enterprise Education Program

Stephens Inc. has donated $50,000 to Economics Arkansas and will work with the non-profit to create an education program focused on capitalism. The program will is serve more than 31,000 students and teachers throughout the state during the 2018-19 school year.

A group of preschool age children sitting and laughing around a woman who is reading a book to them.

LITTLE ROCK, AR: April 9, 2018 – Stephens Inc., an independent financial services firm, and Economics Arkansas, a non-profit educational organization, have partnered to create an umbrella PreK-12 educational program focused on free enterprise education for schools and students across the state. Stephens’ multimedia educational series, “This is Capitalism”, which explores the free enterprise system, will serve as the key component of the program.

The free-enterprise education program will be broken into grade-specific, branded curriculum and comprise 39 workshops and resources for teachers. The program is designed to serve more than 31,000 students and teachers during the 2018-19 school year.

The curriculum consists of:

  • Itty Bitty Economics”- Through songs, play, art and children’s literature, children as young as 4 years old learn the economic way of thinking. This program serve grades PreK-2; 10 teacher trainings will be offered around the state.
  • “Compact Concept Connectors”– A set of teaching guides that tell the “story of economics” through 12 thoughtfully sequenced statements. Each durable, 8-page fold-out guide contains concept background with examples, introductory activity, 3 reproducible activity pages with teaching notes, key points for students and extension ideas. This program will serve grades K-5; 16 teacher trainings will be offered across the state.
  • “iNSPIRE”– The “This is Capitalism” video series serves as a spring board for lesson plans, activities and research projects about the accomplishments of extraordinary individuals made possible because of certain economic conditions. This program will serve grades 6-12; 11 teacher trainings will be offered around the state.
  • “Teaching Free Enterprise is Arkansas”– Teachers learn from local entrepreneurs and experts how to nurture the next peer group of successful business men and women. This program serves grades 9-12; 2 teacher trainings will be offered.

“Stephens launched “This is Capitalism,” to shed light on the positive impact that capitalism has had on America. It is a message that we are particularly focused on sharing with today’s youth, as many possess a limited understanding of the free market. Through meaningful education and practical knowledge, we are empowering the next generation of Arkansas business leaders,” said Warren Stephens, President and CEO of Stephens Inc. “By virtue of living in the United States, we are all capitalists. Everyday transactions—putting gas in our cars, buying groceries—are just as much a part of capitalism as financing growing companies and investing in ideas. We are proud to partner with Economics Arkansas on this important initiative that will reach students throughout the state.”

“Our mission is to ensure that Arkansas students receive the best economic, personal finance and free enterprise education possible,” said Kathleen Lawson, Executive Director of Economics Arkansas. “We believe that the partnership between Economics Arkansas and Stephens creates ample opportunity to provide teachers, and in turn students, with creative, thought-provoking and insightful materials that will further enhance our program and reach across the state. Our vision is for Arkansas students to master an understanding of economics and personal finance and apply that knowledge in the free enterprise system. We are excited to have the support of Stephens to increase our ability to do that.”

About Stephens Inc.
Stephens Inc. is an independent financial services firm headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas. Since its inception in 1933, privately held Stephens Inc. has served a broad client base which includes corporations, state and local governments, financial institutions, institutional investors and individual investors throughout the United States and overseas. For more information, visit

About Economics Arkansas

Economics Arkansas (through the Arkansas Council on Economic Education) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization founded in 1962 by Dr. Arch Ford and led by Dr. Bessie B. Moore to promote economic literacy in Arkansas. Its mission is to equip PreK-12 schools with standards-based resources and professional development to teach economics, personal finance and the free-enterprise system using practical, innovative and inspiring methods so that Arkansas students may master an understanding of economics and personal finance and apply that knowledge for success in the free-enterprise system. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Chenoa Taitt, Stephens Inc.
212-891-1742 /

Laura Stephens, Stephens Inc.
212-891-1717 /