Youth Venture enables young people to learn early on in life that they can lead social change. Ashoka developed the concept of Youth Venture from understanding a key insight of Ashoka Fellows in the field of youth development: one of the most effective ways to improve the lives of youth is to empower them to realize their own ability to make positive social change.
Youth Venture thus inspires and invests in teams of young people to start and lead their own social ventures, and is building a powerful network of young changemakers across the world. It is currently operating in the US, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, India, South Africa, Thailand, France, Germany, and Spain.
Youth Venture seeks to create impact by transforming:
- The youth participant, through the enabling experience of starting a social venture
- The youth team, as they learn important life skills and realize that they can create change
- The community, as growing numbers of Youth Venture teams “tip” the local culture toward greater youth leadership
- Society at large, by fundamentally redefining the role of young people as leaders of social change
Youth Venture plays a critical role in actualizing Ashoka's vision of Everyone a Changemaker™. By giving young people the means to know that they have the ability to change the environment around them, Ashoka believes that youth will gain the skills and innate understanding that they can be powerful long into their adult future. Through this experience, young people will grow up practicing applied empathy, teamwork, and leadership—the underlying skills needed to make change.