Youth Entrepreneurship

Ashoka realized early on that it was necessary to foster a culture of entrepreneurship as early as possible in one's lifecycle to create a world where everyone is a changemaker. More of a learning experience of history in action than a technical training, youth entrepreneurship had to be about developing the fundamental skills for youth to have the freedom, the confidence and the support from society to become and act as changemakers: teamwork, empathy, leadership and changemaking. These insights, along with the support and vision of our Fellows, lead to the conception of Youth Venture, more than 16 years ago, and which is now operating in more than 22 countries worldwide.


Youth Venture’s mission is to build a movement of young people being powerful now, changemakers now, by:

  • Investing in young people to have the transformative experience of launching and leading their own lasting Ventures;
  • Creating a critical mass of young people who collectively redefine the youth years as a time of positive contribution;
  • Spreading our message that investing in young people to become changemakers is the key factor for success in every part of society; and
  • Connecting our Venturers to a global network of changemakers.

What We Believe

  • The clearest path to becoming a changemaker is to take initiative while you’re young demonstrating to yourself and your community the capacity of youth to make a positive contribution.
  • Everyone can be a changemaker regardless of race, color, national origin, age, disability, gender and sexual orientation, religion, or political beliefs.
  • Individuals who are and perceive themselves to be changemakers are more likely to be successful in life.  They are more likely to be better educated, to be economically independent, to have a fulfilling career, and to be  positive contributors to society.
  • Communities – e.g. schools, institutions, cities and even businesses – that have a higher percentage of  changemakers are likely to be more successful in a more complex world.

How to engage with Youth Venture (YV)

You can bring youth venturing to your community with 15 years’ worth of methodologies and content that YV has to offer. YV can provide training, ongoing guidance, and user-friendly materials and tools to support your efforts to enable your youth to become changemakers through venturing. The Youth Venture content is geared to middle school, high-school, and university students with varying curricular packages according to the group age. At all education levels, our program weaves the social entrepreneurship experience into school life and provides students with continuous support through our online learning platform. Each workshop series attracts between 20-60+ students and ranges between an intense weekend training to a 10-week workshop series.

Licensing Impact

  • Engage different schools and disciplines in the work through research, implementation, and student engagement;
  • Assume control of curriculum for specialized use across schools and disciplines as well as extracurricularly;
  • Bolster existing community partnerships and affiliations as well as community image by bringing an innovative engagement offering to youth.

For a detailed presentation about the Youth Venture framework of change for Southern Africa, please request here. To learn more about Youth Venture globally, please refer to the program's global website here.