Ashoka Seattle: Youth Venture
About Youth Venture
Youth Venture®, an initiative of Ashoka, was formed in 1996 to recognize the ability of young people to make lasting changes in their communities. Ashoka is a global network of more than 2,000 social entrepreneurs: men and women with system-changing ideas and an outstanding capacity for impact. Based on the observation that most Ashoka Fellows shared the common trait of enacting change at an early age, Youth Venture was formed. Its mission is to create a global movement of young Changemakers by inspiring, investing in, and empowering youth to become entrepreneurs and address the most pressing social needs of our region.
Youth Venture realizes this vision by helping young people through the transformative process of launching and leading their own sustainable social Ventures: clubs, projects, and community organizations that combine the unique passions of the individual with a strategy for positively impacting the community. By providing guidance, coaching, workshops, and up to $1,000 in seed funding to people ages 12 to 20, Youth Venture helps youth combine their passions and aptitudes with real-world social entrepreneurship skills that will prepare them to be Change makers long into the future. Since its inception, Youth Venture's vision of youth in action has spread to 17 countries, involving 60,000 young people.
Youth Venture Seattle
Drawn by Seattle's innovative, creative and socially conscious spirit, Youth Venture established a local office in 2007. So far, Youth Venture has helped launch 55 youth-led Venture teams, representing 35 Seattle-area schools, addressing issues that range from homelessness to international water rights, hunger to sex-trafficking. The Seattle youth prove themselves time and again to be bright and ambitious, initiating a truly exciting period of youth-led change across the Puget Sound.
Youth Venture's impact is ripple-like in effect, expanding into three widening tiers of scope. First, the individual members of the Venture teams develop or hone a skill set that will stay with them long into the future as they realize that they can create change. Second, the greater Seattle community itself benefits from the initiatives and solutions that innovative Venture teams undertake. Finally, a shift occurs on a societal level in the perception of youth as more people than ever erase their preconceived notions of teen apathy and realize that youth have the ability to problem solve and enact change.
Seattle Needs Youth Venture
In today's economy, people are more receptive than ever not only to the benefits of social change, but to the necessity for it. Social programs become imperative in the face of an economically uncertain but increasingly optimistic society. Youth Venture helps young people who have ideas for social programs and the drive to achieve their dreams, but who desire resources and a more concrete understanding of the decisions and steps that will bring their ideas to fruition. In helping young people discover the skills necessary to launch and lead an organization, Youth Venture provides the knowledge base for valuable traits and aptitudes that are often overlooked in traditional educational settings.
Youth Venture Needs Seattle
Due to an impressive period of growth in Seattle, Youth Venture is encountering more young people than ever with ideas and the desire for guidance. Because of Youth Venture's emphasis on helping everyone, regardless of background or socioeconomic status, we require enough financial resources and committed support of community members to match the inspiring and overwhelming number of young people who are interested in launching and leading a social venture.