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

ndahlberg@Miamiherald.com

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

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