Teens put education, social entrepreneurship to work in winning plans

FORGING SOCIAL LINKS: Sam Steiner’s company connects teens with senior citizens to help them with their computers. He hired Amanda Miller, center, and works with Marilyn Pechter of Boca Raton. Peter W. Cross / FOR THE HERALD

By Nancy Dahlberg


1st Place: SeniorLink Consulting

For Sam Steiner, entrepreneurship is not only about making money — although he does. It is about doing something bigger than himself.

Sam’s Business Plan Challenge-winning service conquers fears, cures loneliness and brings families closer. It also has the potential of helping to alleviate teen unemployment. How’s that for impact?

The social entrepreneurial SeniorLink Consulting employs high school students to give senior citizens one-on-one help with technology, whether that is teaching them computing basics such as surfing the net or using email and Facetime, trouble-shooting more advanced issues, or helping them select computers or tablets and getting them all set up with apps and programs. Because learning technology can be intimidating in a class setting, coupled with transportation issues, he believes seniors learn best in their own environment on their own computers.

Sam, who is now a junior at Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, has served more than 100 customers through his business, and has two employees. SeniorLink charges about $40 per hour for the service and the business is profitable. He hopes to continue to grow the business, particularly in other parts of South Florida, but admits that it has been a challenge finding other dedicated teen employees. “I continue to try out new employees to meet my growing client base.”

Last semester Saint Andrew’s hosted an international convention (International Round Square Waves of Change Conference) with more than 750 students from 36 countries. Sam was asked to speak about SeniorLink, as an aspect of the convention was a discussion of social entrepreneurship. He also served as a panelist discussing entrepreneurship and led break-out sessions discussing how to take an idea from its beginnings to an actual business.

Read More… via Teens put education, social entrepreneurship to work in winning plans – Business Plan Challenge – MiamiHerald.com

The new social entrepreneurs: young, tech-savvy and improving the world

Solving social problems rather than getting rich is the priority for tomorrow’s ambitious entrepreneurs.
graduates sea

New horizons: social change is the primary driver for many young people.
Photograph: Alamy

Technology has levelled the playing field, opening up remarkable opportunities for young people. According to a Populus survey, more than a quarter of 16- to 25-year-olds want to set up their own business, and 14% are in the process of doing so, compared with 8% only a year ago.

But there is something else at play here, another trend emerging. For many of these new digital entrepreneurs, the primary objective is to improve the world rather than their own bank balance. They are looking for radical solutions to social problems rather than creating a product or service that will make them a stash of cash.

That doesn’t mean their aims are any less ambitious. Take 22-year-old Aaron Jones, whose goal is universal access to education. He has set up the multi-award winning Fikay, a lifestyle brand all about successful living and giving. It produces fashion accessories using recycled cement bags, employs co-operatives and members of fair-trade organisations and, for every purchase made, Fikay donates to educational building projects in south east Asia.

Fikay has already helped to build one school in Cambodia with plans for many more to follow. “Why,” says Aaron, “do some children have the right to an education while others don’t? Fikay is my adventure and mission to change this.”

If social change is the primary driver for many of the new generation of entrepreneurs, digital is their vehicle of choice. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of initiatives designed to encourage young people to develop their digital skills. Code Club, Young Rewired State, Freeformers, Digital Youth Academy and Coderdojo (itself established by 21-year-old James Whelton) are just some of the organisations equipping young people to move from being consumers to producers of digital content, products and services.

A new generation of digital makers is emerging, but more exciting still is the fact that so many young people are using their digital skills to tackle such seemingly intractable social challenges as education, healthcare, human rights and social isolation.

[Read More]

via | The new social entrepreneurs: young, tech-savvy – and improving the world | Social Enterprise Network | Guardian Professional.

Harvard Innovation Summit Encourages Social Entrepreneurship

Innovation Summit Encourages Social Entrepreneurship

By Caroline C. Hunsicker and Quynh-Nhu Le, CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

November 10, 2013

Students explore social entrepreneurship at the job fair. The Igniting Innovation Summit has brought inspiring speakers and start-ups to Harvard this crispy Saturday.

Social entrepreneurs, Harvard affiliates, and students from across the United States convened in Northwest Labs on Saturday for the Igniting Innovation Summit, a conference meant to spark student interest in social entrepreneurship through a series of events.

via Innovation Summit Encourages Social Entrepreneurship | News | The Harvard Crimson.