The Entrepreneurship (Creativity & Innovation) Institute

Do you want to take your business ideas to the next level? Discover new ways to make money with your creative concepts at the Entrepreneurship Institute!

“ I plan to use what I have learned at the Entrepreneurship Institute to make me more confident and secure in my ideas. Everyone has been so supportive; I have felt like I’m part of a real community while I have been here.”

— Daisy,   2023 Entrepreneurship Alum

About the Entrepreneurship Institute...

Ready to start your own business?

At the GIV Entrepreneurship Institute, bring your passion and curiosity to a week-long dive into creativity and innovation. Learn how to develop, produce, and market new products and services. With the guidance of proven entrepreneurs and experts, plus a network of peers and future collaborators, you can leverage your own unique business ideas and propel your ambitions into future success.

College credits available!

Sunday, June 23rd – Friday, June 28th, 2024
@ Vermont State University Randolph
Randolph, VT

For information regarding this Institute’s sliding-scale tuition support, please click here.

Entrepreneurship Group Photo 2023
GIV students smile as friends.

At This Institute You Will...

  • Learn how to translate your ideas into a real, successful, and sustainable business.
  • Examine your own strengths and learn to develop a winning team of business partners.
  • Acquire financial, operational, and marketing insights to enable you to launch and grow your own business.
  • Delve into the ethics, sustainability, and social responsibility of business.
  • Network with successful Vermont business people and visit local businesses.
  • Work with professional mentors to make your product ideas a reality.
  • Have the time of your life!

Experience the vibe at Entrepreneurship!

Entrepreneurship Student Laughing 2019

Earn College Credit At This Institute!

This Institute offers 3 credits through Vermont State University! Every student who completes the Institute is eligible for these credits.

Please note that colleges charge extra tuition and fees on top of GIV tuition for granting credits, but students can utilize a Dual Enrollment voucher to fully cover the college tuition. The Dual Enrollment program guarantees free college tuition for most rising VT juniors and seniors. For other support options such as those offered through VSAC or the Fast Forward program for technical center students, contact us and we can help!

Important Note: students need to apply for this credit before attending the Institute.

See our latest Academic Guide for specific information about registering for the course, including links and detailed instructions.

For more information contact us at [email protected].

Attending this Institute can earn you credit and proficiencies!

How To Get High School Credit

We encourage all students who participate in an Institute to use the experience to earn high school credit.

Awarding high school credit is at the discretion of the student’s sending school, so we recommend students make a plan with their high school guidance counselor before attending GIV to earn their credit.

Each school has unique requirements around proficiencies, credits, and PLPs, so there are multiple pathways to awarding credit based on your school's system of assessments.

However, we recommend that high schools award credit by having students produce one or more of the following...
- A presentation to reflect on the overall experience to present for counselors and/or teachers in the fall after their participation.
- A learning journal for submission about areas of learning, activities, reflections.
- Work examples to share with sending school teachers (physical or digital products, writing, videos of presentations, learning journal, etc.) to be reviewed and assessed.

Please reach out to us at [email protected] if we can directly help or support you or your school in determining credit opportunities for your experience at GIV.

Institute Format

1-week intensive
3 instructional/activity periods each day
Form teams to develop business plans and learn professional team roles
Culmination in presentation of a business plan for actual investors
Field trips to area businesses and companies that inspire entrepreneurial spirit
Leadership and team-building
Hands-on exercises
Grapple with the ambiguity of the entrepreneurship process
Balance thinking and acting
Free, game, and relax time
Dormitories and roommates
4:1 student-to-staff ratio

Curriculum Topics

Economics (macro & personal)
Idea formation
Presentation & public speaking
Vermont-focused business opportunities
Practical entrepreneurial skills for every field or occupation

Hours and Opportunites

40+ hours of entrepreneurial training and study
Connections with established business professionals
Financial support opportunities for promising business plans

High School Credit Recommendations

Equivalent to one semester of high school credit in 1 or more of the following:

Financial Literacy
Personal Finance
Global Citizenship- Economics
Public Speaking

VT Proficiency Indicators

This Institute’s curriculum has been aligned with the following Vermont proficiency-based graduation requirements at the high school level.

Financial Literacy
- Spending/Saving
- Credit and Debt
- Financial Decision Making
- Employment and Income
- Investing
- Risk Management and Insurance

Global Citizenship
- Constructing Questions: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d
- Determining Helpful Sources: 2a
- Civic & Political Institutions: 3a, 3d
- Economic Decision Making: 6a
- Exchange & Markets: 7a, 7b
- Global Economy: 9a

Transferable Skills
- Communication: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f, 1g
- Self-Direction: 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f, 2g, 2h, 2i
- Problem Solving: 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, 3f, 3g, 3h
- Citizenship: 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e, 4f
- Informed Thinking: 5a, 5b, 5f

College Credit Opportunities

Eligible for 3 college credits through Vermont State University.
Dual Enrollment voucher eligible.
See our Academic Guide for the latest information about how to get this credit by going to

So how does it all work?

Every day is a unique experience filled with expert-led instruction, hands-on investigation, field trips, and immersive learning. We work to build a community around our experiences and share in our passion for everything we explore.

**The schedule is slightly different each year and announced when you arrive!

GIV’s supportive Institute structure is endlessly enriching, empowering, and engaging.

An Example of a Day at the Entrepreneurship Institute

7:00 AM: Breakfast
9:00 AM: Morning Workshop
10:00 AM: Work In Teams to Develop A Product
12:00 PM: Lunch and Free Time
3:30 PM: Continued Supported Team Time
5:00 PM: Dinner
6:00 PM: Team Presentations
7:30 PM: Evening Workshop
8:30 PM: Evening Activities
10:30 PM: End of Day

Entrepreneurship Faculty

Tamie-Jo Dickinson

Tamie-Jo is a Nationally Board Certified Business Teacher. She has been teaching at CVU High School for the past 21 years. During her time at CVU she has redesigned the business course offerings; traveled to England, Ireland and Wales with students four times; traveled with students to Turkey to participate in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fair twice; advised remarkable business students in the school’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club; and worked strongly with the community providing valuable internship opportunities for students. She is a certified Jazzercise instructor and loves to make “guest appearances” in wellness classes and do school-wide fundraisers for organizations like the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Her passion is teaching entrepreneurship and business social responsibility. She provides training opportunities for teachers around the state on how to implement entrepreneurship into their curriculum, and her students have been winners of many state-wide business plan competitions.

Laurel Butler

A native Vermonter, Laurel has traveled extensively, as well as lived in several states/cities, Europe, the West Indies/Caribbean and Saudi Arabia, however, as she says, “Vermont is really at my heart – it’s home!”

She taught for several years in secondary and post-secondary education – business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, hospitality/tourism and assisted students in service learning, co-operative education and internship programs.  In addition she spent many years in the hotel/hospitality industry (she is a CHA – Certified Hotel Administrator) in key operational, general management, marketing, training and franchise development positions as well as served on several local, state and national hospitality, convention and tourism boards.  Laurel has also owned and operated her own small hospitality and consulting businesses.  Currently, she works full time for the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) as a Business Advisor/Start-up Specialist, teaches part-time in the Women’s Small Business Program and enjoys painting in watercolors and mixed media.

Thank you to our Institute Supporters!

Entrepreneurship Sponsors

Excited at the idea of starting your own business? Then this is the Institute for you!

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