Case 3: Enabling Prosperity/Educating Youth Entrepreneurs
It is clear that any young person who has an idea for improving his or her community, leads a team, launches a venture and contributes something lasting will emerge transformed from such an experience. Young “Venturers” will know that they are capable of leading and creating change, and it is likely that they will take initiative again and again over a lifetime.
Youth Venture inspires and invests in teams of young people to design and launch their own lasting social ventures, enabling them to have this transformative experience of leading positive social change. Youth Venture is operating on five continents, and we continue to expand. As we invest in Venturers around the world, we are connecting them into a powerful global network.Our Venturers start businesses, civil society organizations and informal programs that address all kinds of social issues, including poverty, health, the elderly, the environment, education, diversity issues, and the arts. Youth Venture helps our Venturers through this process of designing and launching their ventures, providing guidance, how-to’s, and a process for designing and pitching a venture idea.
When the Venture team is ready to launch, Youth Venture offers:
* Seed funding of up to $1,000
* Guidance, tools and support
* Allies who provide advice, mentoring and expertise
* A supportive network of fellow Youth Venturers
* Identity as part of movement of young changemakers
After the team has launched, Youth Venture works to stay continually involved with the team. Youth Venture also connects Venturers into a fellowship of like-minded young people, helping them see that they are part of something bigger, catalyzing our movement.
Youth Venture was started by Ashoka, the oldest, largest and fastest growing association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurs are people with ideas that solve some of the world’s biggest, most difficult problems. They are like business entrepreneurs who pioneer new industries or ways of doing things, except social entrepreneurs are motivated by their desire to create positive social change on a massive scale. Ashoka invests in social entrepreneurs and helps them start their ventures, many of which have led to social change around the globe. They become Ashoka Fellows, and they are part of the Ashoka fellowship, where they can learn from and collaborate with each other, for life. Like Venturers, these social entrepreneurs tackle problems in all areas of need: the environment, health, learning, human rights, civic engagement, economic development, etc. It takes a while longer to become an Ashoka Fellow, though – many Ashoka Fellows devote their entire lives to developing their system-changing ideas and creating global change.
To find out more about Ashoka Fellows and read their ideas, click here: http://www.ashoka.org/fellows
AYUDA empowers youth to serve as agents of change in diabetes communites around the world.
In 1996, two teenagers, Nicolas Cuttriss and Jesse Fuchs-Simon, established AYUDA after witnessing first hand the socioeconomic and emotional hardships associated with diabetes in Latin America. From the moment Jesse and Nick realized the desperate situation facing people with diabetes specifically, in Ecuador and generally throughout Latin America, they committed themselves to making a difference. They envisioned an organization led by youth that encouraged other youth to serve as agents for change. Now, more than ten years later, AYUDA embodies that dream!