6 places to find unpaid interns in NYC for your business

NYC interns

As a NYC business owner you should be spending your time on the most important tasks to drive your business forward like sales, developing relationships, strategizing, product development, meeting with clients and so forth. Everything else should be delegated to someone else.

The challenge is that many new business owners are unable to hire staff members to delegate some of their work to because they have limited cash and resources to do so. What do you do in this case?

Hire unpaid interns to help grow your business 

Hiring low cost to unpaid interns is one solution. Interns can help you get some of the low level tasks crossed off your list every week, like, scheduling your social media posts, doing research, creating newsletters, setting up meetings, creating presentations, invoicing and more.

Are unpaid interns even legal in New York?  

As long as you meet the New York Department of Labor guidelines outlined here, it is legal.

Where can you find unpaid interns in NYC?

There are dozens of non-profit youth organizations in NYC that focus on helping young people develop the skills necessary to be more marketable in the workforce and many of them have programs where they pay young people (14-26 years old) to work at small businesses throughout the city to get relevant work experience.

There are several non-profit youth organizations that connect small businesses with unpaid interns in NYC. Below are 6 of them.

Reach out to some of these youth organizations to find out how you can hire an unpaid intern at your business.

We will continue to grow this list as we uncover more organizations in NYC that pay young people to intern at small businesses in NYC.

How long do most internship programs last?

Most internship programs are approx. 3 months, which means that on average you will have up to 12 weeks of support from an intern.

What will you be responsible for when hiring an unpaid intern?

Typically, non-profit youth organizations that provide unpaid interns to small businesses in NYC will ask you to:

  • Interview and select the interns that you want to have on your team.

  • Train your new intern on relevant business skills. The internship should consist of more than just making photocopies and answering the phone.

  • Record the number of hours that your intern works on your business each week.

  • Create a sign in sheet, for your intern to sign in daily and record their hours.

  • Provide feedback to both your intern and the youth organization on your interns performance.

What else should you do when hiring an intern

  • Have specific tasks that you want your intern to accomplish each week. Take some time out at the beginning or at the end of the week to outline specific goals and tasks that you want your intern to be responsible for.

  • Create a learning plan to train your intern on relevant skills, like using your business software (i.e. google docs, accounting, website), scheduling and social media.  

  • Provide your intern with regular feedback on their progress and on how they can improve. Be available to answer any questions in person or via email and text.

  • Provide your intern with all of the tools necessary in order to do their job.

  • And if they do a good job, write them a letter of recommendation for future employment and school.

If done correctly, hiring and working with unpaid interns in NYC will prove to be a win-win for both you and the intern.


Managing your calendar for busy NYC entrepreneurs

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NYC business owners have enough to worry about with making sure they get paid on time by their customers. Missing a client meeting or an important event shouldn’t be one of your concerns. Whether you have a digital or traditional paper calendar, these tips will help you manage your calendar more efficiently and stay productive.

Color coordinate your calendars

If you use google calendar, outlook or another calendar tool, use colors to coordinate your calendar. Use multiple colors to differentiate your events so it’s easy to see your day at a glance. For example, select red for urgent tasks that require your immediate attention or green for meetings related to your finances.

Color coordinating also helps you see at a glance where you are spending your time. Are you spending too much time in one area and need to prioritize your tasks? Are you neglecting some tasks?  

Whatever color scheme you choose, it must make sense for you otherwise it will be difficult to manage and understand. One of our clients uses turquoise for all her daughter's events because it’s her daughter’s favorite color. Whenever she sees turquoise on her calendar it’s a visual reminder of sacred family time she doesn’t want to move for business meetings.

Work in time blocks

Schedule time blocks during the day when you only work on administrative tasks, marketing, social media, etc. Set a timer on your phone and once the allotted time is up, move on to the next task. Eventually, you’ll find that there’s enough time to finish tasks in all areas of your business and less items are neglected from your to-do list by following this method.

Write down appointments immediately

While we’d like to think we’ll remember to put an event on our calendar later, reality is that we’ll forget about it less than 10 seconds later. As soon as you have an appointment, make a habit of putting it on your calendar immediately or at least blocking time on your calendar and putting the details in later. This will help prevent missed appointments and double bookings significantly. Alternatively, hire a virtual assistant to place the meeting details on your calendar. Just forward them the logistics and have them put it on your calendar, color-coordinated and with reminders.

Set multiple reminders

How many times do you hit snooze each morning? No judgement if you said more than twice. Similarly, we recommend setting as many reminders as necessary to make sure you are on time for all appointments. Let’s face it, you’ll probably ignore the first notification so you’ll definitely need a backup. For our own calendars we set at least two reminders for all in-person meetings. One for two hours before the meeting (to allow travel time) and 10 minutes prior (to give us enough time to prep).

Recurring appointments for birthdays, anniversaries and special client ticklers

Our clients are always amazed that we remember their birthdays, anniversaries or random special events like the day they stepped out on faith and became a full-time entrepreneur. The answer is quite simple. We place these events on our calendar with reminders anywhere from one to three days prior to the event. That gives us enough time to send a card or an acknowledgement email. Ultimately, we shine in our client’s eyes for not only remembering them in a special way but also that we pay attention to details.

Schedule personal time

As much as we like to think the entrepreneur life is all work and no play, there has to be balance for your overall well-being. Make sure you place important family and friends events on your calendar so you’re not tempted to miss important events and memories outside of your business. Don’t be afraid to also schedule gym time, devotions or even reading a book to make time for important things in your personal life. Just be sure to treat it as any other appointment and keep it!

Pro tip: Schedule vacation days on your calendar just like you would in a corporate job and actually take the days! It may be tempting to work non-stop when everything depends on you, but you will need the days to disconnect and refuel for your next project.  We advise our entrepreneur clients to give themselves at least 2 weeks of vacation days and use them at their discretion throughout the year.


Written by: CH from Organized Kingdom.

Organized Kingdom provides entrepreneurs with operational and project management support as well as professional organization services for individuals. Visit www.organizedkingdom.com for more information about Organized Kingdom and how we can create functional spaces in your home and business.



LinkNYC offers NYC businesses free ads on its street kiosks

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Have you seen the LinkNYC kiosks popping up all over the five boroughs over the last few years? You know, those big vertical stands on the sidewalks of the city that have replaced old school pay phones, where you can make phone calls, charge your cell phone and even stay informed about what’s happening around the city.  

Well, LinkNYC teamed up with the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to offer NYC small businesses FREE ads on their 55-inch computerized screens for up to one month via the LinkLocal program. With a plan to install 7,500 kiosks throughout NYC by 2020, this could mean major visibility and increased sales for your business.

Why is LinkNYC so generous to NYC entrepreneurs and small businesses?

LinkNYC has a social mission to support local businesses and to ensure that they are viable in their neighborhoods and throughout NYC. Thank You LInkNYC  :)

How do I apply for free ad space on the LinkNYC kiosks?

To apply to receive free ad space on the LInkNYC kiosks you just need to complete their online questionnaire here. The decision makers over at LinkNYC and the LinkLocal program do not have a strict criteria on how they choose businesses for the program, but they largely make decisions based on instinct according to Kate Blumm, Assistant Commissioner for Communications at the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.

Shoot your shot NYC entrepreneurs and business owners. Apply here.

Why is this a big deal for NYC entrepreneurs and businesses?  

If selected, tens of thousands of people could view your ad via the LinkNYC kiosks helping you to build brand awareness and increase your sales (fingers crossed). Because many smaller businesses cannot afford to advertise their businesses on media platforms like the LinkNYC kiosks, this program helps to level the playing field some.

BRIC offers entrepreneurs free equipment and space for podcasts, shows and more

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We recently learned that BRIC, the organization that supports artists and media makers develop their work and reach new audiences, offers FREE space and equipment for Brooklyn entrepreneurs to produce their podcasts, shows and other media work.

If you have an idea for a podcast, show, video or another media project, BRIC is a great local resource that can support you with not only free space, equipment and airtime on their channel, but they also offer lots of low cost creative programs and workshops on everything from podcasting, video, audio, photography and more.

How do I sign up to use BRIC’s free space and equipment?

Check out their website and complete their application to get free access to their space and equipment here.

Squarespace and the NY Knicks are giving away $30,000 to NYC businesses

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Who loves a good business plan competition? We do.

Our favorite website platform, Squarespace and our favorite basketball team (when they are winning), the NY Knicks are teaming up for the second year to give away $30,000 to four lucky small businesses in the NYC, tri-state area via the Make it Awards.

What else are they giving away?

Here is what the 4 winning businesses will win:

  1. A $30,000 grant  

  2. One-on-one mentorship with one of the judges from the Make it Awards

  3. Two tickets to one of the NY Knicks regular season home games.

  4. On-court recognition for being a winner at one of the NY Knicks games.

  5. Inclusion in one digital content piece recapping the winner’s “Make it Awards” experience

  6. A one-year subscription to Squarespace services.

  7. And more.

How will the judges decide who wins?

Like any business plan competition, you have to complete a application to enter. The Make it Awards judges will decide who wins the big prize based on their criteria. Here is what they are looking for.

  1. Business Presentation: 75%

  2. Originality of what you hope to get out of your business mentorship: 10%

  3. How your business will benefit the New York (or Tri-State) community: 10%

  4. Other unique details about your business: 5%

How do you apply?

You can learn more about the Make it Awards and apply to the grant opportunity by visiting their website here. The deadline to apply is December 14th, 2018, so get going.

As always, please share this opportunity with anyone that you think it can help.