The United States is facing a lack of financial literacy in teens combined with a 30% decline of teen workforce participation over the past 40 years. First jobs serve as a rite of passage, and those are gone as we know it, despite Generation Z poised to be the most entrepreneurial generation in history. This crisis fueled Dallas native Scott Bennett to find a solution. As the father of two teenage daughters, Bennett founded Skratch, a social innovation start-up bridging the gap of teens struggling to find work opportunities that teach financial literacy while juggling their hectic extracurricular schedules. The mobile platform allows teens to find small jobs (“gigs”), such as dog walking, tutoring, organizing, event assistance, gaming pal, sports mentor, or holiday gift wrapper, to name a few, throughout their local neighborhoods.
Teens are able to earn money (above minimum wage) and build their resumes when their schedules allow. Meanwhile, neighbors are starting to connect once again and checking off their to-do lists with the help of the teen next door. And suddenly everyone wins. The mobile platform is currently available in 25 North Texas zip codes, with aggressive expansion plans in early 2018. Cemented in the philosophy that the only way to become financially literate is to earn income, Skratch is an opportunity platform giving teens the chance to earn, learn and build a resume with skills they already possess. Skratch is delivered in a language teens understand and in a voice they respect, with tenants of innovation that this discerning segment expects.
There is so much more to this story. Through Skratch, Bennett is stepping up as a front-runner in the social innovation scene. Case in point: this year, United Way’s GroundFloor program, a program that has also traditionally invested in nonprofits, chose to invest in Skratch. This double bottom-line business has also partnered with organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of Collin County and Operation Kindness. The partnership with BGCCC included making a pilot for specifically for the organization, with the goal to help teens gain safe and reliable work experience while aiding the club and its staff to operate more efficiently. Recently, Bennett also received top honors at bigBANG! Texas, Dallas’ longest-running event for social innovation, and earned $26,000 for his social impact mobile platform in the fast-pitch competition.
Skratch is solving a major societal and economical problem. Work for teens means the opportunity for them to become financially literate. To see if Skratch is available in your neighborhood, download the app for free in the Apple App Store, or visit there site here