Academy for Young Entrepreneurs poster (get a hard copy here)
Bill Drayton, founder of Ashoka and social entrepreneurship visionary, is fond of asking parents, firstly, “what would you do if your child was failing maths?” Parents instinctively have an answer for this. They would spend more time with them doing their home, get them a tutor, buy a math training program. Then he asked, “what would you do if your child was failing to develop as a changemaker?” and the answers come much less readily.
How do we create a culture of changemaking in young people? By giving them opportunities to share their ideas and participate in creating change of course! You get better at maths by doing more maths. You get better at sport by joining a team, practicing and playing. We have clear pathways for gaining expertise in academics and sports but it’s only more recently that we’ve begun to see a focus on providing changemaking experiences for people at a younger age and preparing them for active citizenship.
This is something Ashoka has understood for some time, having launched Ashoka Youth Venture over ten years ago to support 16-20 year-olds to develop their own initiatives, and more recently establishing AshokaU to foster a culture of entrepreneurship on college campuses.
In Australia we’ve seen the establishment of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, who run year-long courses supporting emerging social entrepreneurs of all ages to launch and scale social impact ventures and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, of Social Startup 48, a startup weekend-style event for aspiring changemakers. I’m proud to say all the above organisations are partners of StartSomeGood.
I’m also thrilled to see more and more organisations using StartSomeGood to fill gaps in this ecosystem of opportunity, inspiring, mentoring and training young people to create the future they wish to see. One Can Grow finished a successful fundraiser on our site just a couple of weeks ago and is piloting a social entrepreneurship training program for students at three high school in Sydney. Hope Empowered is currently raising funds to engage an even younger cohort in entrepreneurial activity with their Academy for Young Entrepreneurs Initiative which will focus at the primary school level. (If you like the sound of this please chip in here). And the organisation I founded 12 years ago, Vibewire has recently had a successful StartSomeGood fundraising campaign to support three younger social entrepreneurs (under 35) to work on issues of critical importance including mental health and sustainable design.
At StartSomeGood we believe that social entrepreneurs need three types of capital to succeed: financial, intellectual and relational. Our mission is to reduce the barriers to raising early-stage financial capital for nonprofits and changemakers through peerfunding (also called crowdfunding).
As these barriers come down more social entrepreneurs are stepping up to launch programs which general these other forms of capital, teaching skills and providing community for aspiring social entrepreneurs. So these initiatives and those like them expand the answer to how to encourage your child to learn changemaking skills will become more apparent and a new generation of changemakers and entrepreneurs will, from an early age, know they can create the future we all need.
How do you think we could better support young changemakers?
Cross-posted from my personal blog.
Model NATO Youth Summit is fostering political responsibility through leadership, innovation, and strategic thinking. This is the first conference of its kind and will bring together participants from all over the world to discuss global issues. This summit will take place from July 8th-13th in Brussels, Belgium and is seeking funding to cover venue and travel expenses.
Kitechild is a non-profit organization that creates projects to ensure that orphans grow up leading happy and healthy lives. These projects help orphanages implement sustainable sources of income to improve living conditions and increase orphans’ access to education. Kitechild’s campaign, Chicken COOP, will help provide five orphanages in Kenya with the materials needed to raise their own chickens.
The CORE Academy is designed to help children build motivation through four important elements: Confidence, Ownership, Relevance, and Engagement. This motivation is developed outdoors, through martial arts, outdoor education, community service, and creative expression. CORE Academy is raising funds to build a cabin for activities purchase the recreation materials needed for the Academy to get officially up and running.
Hope Empowered utilizes creativity, mentoring, and entrepreneurship as tools to empower people who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. Hope Empowered has founded the Academy for Youth Entrepreneurship, where Australian primary school students are encouraged to dream, invent, and change their world by creating micro businesses. It’s time for the Academy for Youth Entrepreneurship to expand and grow, and funds raised in this campaign will help Hope Empowered cover the costs associated with re-running a pilot program and packaging the program for national expansion and licensing.
The Alekii Centre in Kenya is empowering children who are victims of poverty and HIV/AIDS by providing them with a quality education. The HELPING Project (Hope, Education, Love, and Protection through Inspiring Goals) teaches young orphans to raise goats, sheep, pigs, and cows to provide themselves with income to support their basic needs. This campaign will fund the Alekii Centre’s purchase of these farms animals that will be used to generate income for young orphans.
The Center for Collaborative Change connects people, ideas, and resources to make Newark, NJ a thriving and safe community. The Center’s Community Youth Mapping Project mobilizes the youth as catalysts for positive community change. In teams, they go through their neighborhoods and identify resources and opportunities that exist. Help Youth Revitalize Newark—this campaign will help the Center hire a staff of three to support this youth project.
CA Bikes Academy teaches at-risk youths in the Bay Area how to make and repair bikes—marketable skills that they can use when looking for jobs. In addition, the bikes that are made through this program are sent to Africa through CA Bikes Uganda, where they are distributed to people in need. This campaign will help get CA Bikes Academy up and running, providing funding for a work space and tools.
Bus of Books provides young people in the rural and remote indigenous communities of Australia with the resources they need to learn how to read, and, henceforth, succeed. Bus of Books puts books into the hands of young people in remote regions of Australia and encourages schools, communities, and businesses to provide community service through book drives and fundraising events. December 8th is Youth Literacy Day—this campaign will help schools celebrate this day by providing them with books to help youths learn to read.
Youth Awareness Resource Network (YARN) builds relationships through the power of a story. It encourages relationship building between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians through the power of story and engagement. This campaign will help YARN build its website and establish its brand through marketing.
Social entrepreneurs, have all these new campaigns inspired you to start your own good? Do you have a social enterprise, a non-profit, or an amazing idea that needs some momentum to take off? Visit our site to find out how to start your own campaign today. Still have questions? We have answers—check out our FAQ section.