Youth Development

Youth Venture, Inc.

  • Arlington, VA
  • http://www.youthventure.org

Mission Statement

Vision:

Youth Venture shares Ashoka vision of an Everyone A Changemaker™ world. A world that responds quickly and effectively to social challenges, and where each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem and drive change.

Mission:
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.

Main Programs

  1. Campaigns
  2. Dream it. Do it. Challenge
  3. University Partnerships
  4. Licensing
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

YV has supported over 6,000 Venture Teams in over 23 countries worldwide in creating community-impacting ventures serving over 1 million people.

ruling year

1995

Executive Director

Self-reported

Ms. Nancy Welsh

Keywords

Self-reported

youth, leadership, youth empowerment, community service, entrepreneurship, service learning

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EIN

54-1744720

 Number

6433792092

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Community Service Clubs (O51)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (O12)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

YV provides youth the experiential learning and skills-based application critical to develop as a changemaker. Our theory of change is that 1) individuals who are and perceive themselves to be changemakers are more likely to be positive contributors to society and that 2) the places in which those individuals live and where they work are more likely to thrive. As the world becomes increasingly defined by accelerating change, the number and complexity of social issues multiply. Increasing the proportion of people who are willing and able to take responsibility and initiative to tackle the challenges they see is critical. Unfortunately, while youth have complex ideas and perspectives on their communities and society, including those on how to make them better; our society does not, for the most part, engage youth in cultivating solutions. In contrast, YV is building a movement of young changemakers by supporting teams of youth (targeting ages 12-20) to launch and lead their own civic-minded organizations and businesses. Through their efforts, Venturers are fostering a culture of innovation and leadership that is creating new opportunities for networking and employment, skills building, and increased self-confidence and self-worth.
YV has supported over 6,000 Venture Teams in over 23 countries worldwide in creating community-impacting ventures serving over 1 million people. Each Venture Team typically mobilizes about 25 young changemakers per venture. Approximately 45% of Venturers in the US are from vulnerable communities (31% from low-income communities, 33% from predominantly minority communities). A higher percentage of Venturers are from vulnerable communities in the developing countries where YV operates. Approximately 50% of Venturers are girls and 50% boys.

Independent evaluations show that young changemakers who have launched ventures have 12-20 percentage points higher high school graduation rates than their district average; they are more engaged in school; they have a 67% lower detention rate than their district average; they are more likely to take on other leadership positions; and they have greater interest in entrepreneurship.

Measurements of Venturer’s capacities in important life skills, taken before and after their experience with YV, indicate dramatic increases in the number of Venturers who self-describe their abilities in the following areas (percentage change in parentheses): budgeting (394%), getting assistance/findin

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Campaigns

Youth Venture delivers our programming through our own staff and in collaboration with youth-serving organizations. To build the youth entrepreneurship movement, Youth Venture provides planning tools and up to $1,000 seed funding to help young people start new community serving organizations. We also provide further training and technical assistance to Partners, Allies (adult mentors), and youth Venturers through our Action Kit, Technical Ally and e-Advisor programs. Through post-launch fellowship activities and our website, we connect our Venturers with their like-minded peers around the world, catalyzing the movement of youth-led social change. We are now working to take our program to scale in order to bring this unique opportunity to all youth across the globe.
One strategy to fulfill this goal is the creation of the online "Virtual Venture" program that enables any young person to become a Venturer through the World Wide Web (www.youthventure.org). More than 300 Venture Teams have submitted action plans and launched in this way.

Category

None

Population(s) Served

None

None

None

Budget

Program 2

Dream it. Do it. Challenge

The Dream It Do It Challenge (DDC) is a series of facilitated engagements that guide a cohort of young people (ideally ages 12-17) towards launching their own social ventures. Each of the four, six-hour sessions (which can be further broken up) is anchored by a set of core activities that support participants in each distinct phase of venture implementation, from the genesis of the original idea, to execution, initial financing, and implementation.

Throughout, participants examine local, societal and global issues; share ideas and personal experiences; and refine plans and engage in teamwork, public speaking, and peer support. With each workshop, participants move towards a greater level of innovative and creative thinking; goal orientation; and refined problem-solving skills. Each team selects an Adult Ally, who provides mentoring and support to the team as needed.

Within all of the tools and activities that we use in the DDC lies an essential clarity of purpose – to support and guide young people as they prepare and then launch a Venture. With this intentionality, activities are sequenced to complement and build on each other, eliciting increasingly complex and nuanced modes of thinking and analysis. As participants engage in this process they will be encouraged to think about and reflect on who they are, and on their relationships with others; to “listen” to the perspectives of their peers, and to understand the value of engaging with individuals who may hold different or competing opinions; to think creatively; to problem-solve; and to work together to construct and then answer their own questions.

Category

Youth Leadership

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

Program 3

University Partnerships

University Partnerships - Be A Changemaker:

The Youth Venture “Be A Changemaker” university partnership consists of three stages: a university wide call to action across the undergraduate community; an intensive period of social venture creation with in-person workshops and the aid of a user-driven online learning platform; and ongoing post-launch support and fellowship.

This training program for young innovators (ideally ages 17-21) helps them avoid the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when they start out: namely, not understanding the social problems they’ve identified, not knowing their customers/beneficiaries, and not having a feasible business model. A business plan is useless if those key components are not sufficiently developed. The modules in this program are designed to achieve three key outcomes:

- Participants leave with a plan and tools to profile their customers more accurately;
- Participants have a clear understanding of their business model, its strengths and weaknesses, and can articulate it well;
- Participants have a clear, concise and powerful pitch for their venture;
- Participants develop changemaker skills of problem solving, leadership, teamwork, and empathy.

Category

Youth Development, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

Budget

Program 4

Licensing

Operating Ventures:

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.

Category

Youth Development, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

None

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    YV and Ashoka share an Everyone a Changemaker vision of every individual in society having the self-permission and the societal support to address a problem, develop a solution, take initiative and create positive change for the greater good. We believe here is no greater way to create positive impact on the world than to dramatically increase the number of people who possess the skills needed to lead change. We believe that 1) individuals who are and perceive themselves to be changemakers are more likely to be positive contributors to society and 2) the places in which those individuals live and where they work are more likely to thrive. If individuals are to become changemakers, the process must start at an early age to set a pattern into adulthood. This means redefining the youth years as a time of innovation and societal contribution. To be successful under this new paradigm, every young person must self-identify as a changemaker and embody the critical skills of empathy, teamwork, leadership and entrepreneurship. Having a transformative experience at a young age of taking initiative and leading an effort to address a need, increases the likelihood that a young person will continue taking initiative throughout their lives, becoming lifelong leaders in school, work and life. YV is building a movement of young changemakers by supporting teams of youth (ages 12-20) to launch and lead their own civic-minded organizations and businesses. Our Venturers access ongoing tools and support for developing and sustaining their ventures, adult mentorship and expertise, and connection to a global network of like-minded, young changemakers. Their ventures address all areas of social need and are entirely youth-initiated and youth-led. By going through the venture launch process, youth become fully immersed in experiential learning, acquiring competencies in entrepreneurship, leadership, teamwork, empathy, planning, project management, problem solving, marketing, budgeting, sales, communications and community engagement. Core to our model is our “Dream it. Do it. Challenge,” a series of facilitated engagements that guide a cohort of youth – many of whom may never have thought about starting a venture before – in identifying a problem in the community that they are passionate about, creating awareness around the issue, developing a social change solution and starting a sustainable social enterprise to support that solution. Through launching ventures, Venture Teams examine social issues, share personal reflection and collaboratively build ideas. Venture Teams move towards a greater level of innovative and creative thinking, goal orientation and refined problem-solving skills.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    While youth have complex ideas and perspectives on their communities, our society does not often engage them in pursuing solutions to pressing social problems. Youth have relatively few hands-on opportunities to develop critical changemaking skills. This deprives society of one of its most valuable resources: an idealistic, committed and energetic youth population that is capable and willing to take the lead in addressing social issues. YV provides youth the experiential learning and skills-based application critical to develop as a changemaker. Our model uniquely enables youth to go through the process of building a team and developing a sustainable idea to resolve a community issue as opposed to individual short-term or adult-led volunteer projects. To scale our impact, we license our YV program and provide support and training to a range of organizations across the globe. One of the innovative aspects of the YV model that attracts these partners is its inherent financial sustainability. Our model supports use of a “revolving fund” – a pool of money initially funded by the licensee (or a philanthropic partner) that Venturers access to support initial fundraising efforts for their venture. In our experience, Venturers will leverage initial investments made in their ventures to raise even more funds -- $2-10 for every $1 donated, reaping a 200%-1000% return on investment. Over time, Venturers pay back 100% of this initial investment plus a voluntary 10% pay- it-forward fee to sustain the revolving fund for future Venturers. The Venturers’ remaining profits are invested back into their ventures. For the licensees, running a YV program essentially pays for itself. In addition to supporting Venturers, YV also utilizes various strategies to build the “ecosystem” or supportive environment that values and creates demand for youth changemaking, focusing intentionally on influential and receptive groups, such as leading companies, universities, media and governments.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Not available.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    YV has supported over 6,000 Venture Teams in over 23 countries worldwide in creating community-impacting ventures serving over 1 million people. Each Venture Team typically mobilizes about 25 young changemakers per venture. Approximately 45% of Venturers in the US are from vulnerable communities (31% from low-income communities, 33% from predominantly minority communities). A higher percentage of Venturers are from vulnerable communities in the developing countries where YV operates. Approximately 50% of Venturers are girls and 50% boys.

    Independent evaluations show that young changemakers who have launched ventures have 12-20 percentage points higher high school graduation rates than their district average; they are more engaged in school; they have a 67% lower detention rate than their district average; they are more likely to take on other leadership positions; and they have greater interest in entrepreneurship.

    Measurements of Venturer’s capacities in important life skills, taken before and after their experience with YV, indicate dramatic increases in the number of Venturers who self-describe their abilities in the following areas (percentage change in parentheses): budgeting (394%), getting assistance/finding mentors (238%), evaluating one’s own work (225%), organizing volunteers (212%), planning (158%), setting and achieving goals (105%) and leading a team (100%).

    Further, an external evaluation of one of our local programs found that in comparison to youth development organizations across the nation, our model exceled beyond national averages in creating the supportive environment that fosters peer interaction and youth engagement.

    Youth report that their venturing experience has led them to feel more confident, become more caring, become more motivated, become more involved in leadership roles and “feel complete as a person.”
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Not available.
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

YV has supported over 6,000 Venture Teams in over 23 countries worldwide in creating community-impacting ventures serving over 1 million people.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

YOUTH VENTURE INC
Fiscal year: Sep 01-Aug 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Youth Venture, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Ms. Nancy Welsh

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Bill Drayton

Ashoka

Term: Apr 1995 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?