Sunday, July 11, 2010

Accepting Applications: Fourth Annual Staples/Ashoka Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition

As a former Youth Venturer, I'm excited about the opportunity for current young changemakers to participate in the fourth annual Staples/Ashoka Youth Social Entrepreneurship competition! This global competition will culminate at an exciting new TEDx conference recognizing entrepreneurial youth addressing social issues in their communities. Ashoka’s Youth Venture aims to help an entire generation of young people develop as changemakers, who will improve their communities now and throughout their lives. It's an amazing vision and no doubt that this competition will help to surface powerful leaders who will make manifest a world of changemakers. See below for more details and to nominate someone who inspires you!

If you’ve ever been told, “You’re inspirational!” or you are a young leader who’s creating positive change in the world, we’d love to hear your story.

In fact, we’d love to give you a rare opportunity share your story with others.

Eight young changemakers will be chosen as winners of our annual Staples Youth Social Entrepreneurship Competition and invited to present at the first TEDxYSE event in Washington, D.C.

How do you qualify? Just fill out the short entry form. You can also nominate an inspiring young leader (age 12 to 24).

Winners will be chosen on a rolling basis, so don’t wait.

The competition is open to existing and new Youth Venture teams, which are made up of young people between the ages of 12 and 24, who are creating entrepreneurial ventures that make a positive impact on communities.

Nominations and entries will be accepted on a rolling basis through Sept. 20, 2010. Eight winners will be chosen throughout the summer, and in October, the grand-prize winner will be selected for their outstanding impact, innovation and potential. All eight winners will be recognized at a TEDx conference, a national gathering of thought leaders devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” on Nov. 13, 2010 in Washington, DC.

During the TEDx conference, the grand-prize winning team will be announced and presented with the Staples/Ashoka Youth Social Entrepreneur Excellence Award and a prize worth $5,000. The seven remaining winners will receive Achievement Awards and prizes worth $500. The grand-prize winning team will have the unique opportunity to consult with, and draw from the expertise of high-level Staples executives. All eight winning teams will get the opportunity to meet with an Ashoka Fellow - one of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. Ashoka Fellows are known for their unrivaled commitment to bold ideas and innovative solutions.

About Ashoka's Youth Venture

Ashoka’s Youth Venture® engages over 75,000 young people in pursuing their dreams in 18 countries around the world. Since its founding in 1996, Youth Venture has launched nearly 4,000 Venture teams worldwide. Youth Venture inspires and supports teams of young people to launch and lead their own civic-minded organizations and businesses. Youth teams access workshops, tools, adult allies, a global network of like-minded young changemakers and seed funding to establish their own ventures that solve problems around them. Youth Venture was created by Ashoka, the global pioneer of the social entrepreneurship sector and the world’s biggest network of changemakers. We believe that the greatest contribution we can make to the world is to increase dramatically the number of changemakers today and in every future generation. This is the key factor for success for every part of society, from a school to a company to an entire country. Ashoka’s Youth Venture operates in 18 countries and online at

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