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Local non profit helps grow businesses that help with societal problems

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It's a great program for high school students interested in business. It teaches them the ins and outs of launching a company, straight from successful entrepreneurs.

The conference room at Seed Spot in downtown Phoenix is buzzing with excitement. An ice breaker for the teens at the table was well underway by mid-morning.

"I'm actually really interested in venture capitalism, I figure to have venture capital experience you have to see the other side," said Andrew Leblanc.

23 high school aged students participated in the first ever entrepreneurial program of its kind.

Social entrepreneurship is really at the nexus between making money and doing good in the world," said Courtney Klein.

Klein is the CEO and co-founder of Seed Spot. It's a non-profit that incubates passionate business people committed to solving important societal problems. Teens, says Klein, are the next generation of entrepreneurs conscious of what is happening in the world.

"They can do a lot at any age, we believe in really helping them identify a problem, making sure they have a customer that is willing to pay for a solution," she said.

"Finding out you can have a business that has social impact and profit was the most interesting part for me," said Katia Lopez.

The teens were also shown examples of social entrepreneurship shades for some Arizona-based businesses that Seed Spot helped to develop.

"We've helped 43% entrepreneurs and 88% of them are still in business. 93% of them are still in Arizona, and we've helped them raise over a million dollars in capital, funding which created over 100 jobs in the community," said Klein.

The workshop will last all week long. The final project will be a perfect pitch, a presentation to real life investors who can help launch a dream.
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