Ashoka and Staples Business Depot Canada announce partnership to invest in young Canadian leaders



    100,000$CAD Grant from Staples Foundation for Learning and STAPLES
    Business Depot to Launch Ashoka's Youth Venture - GenV in Canada

    TORONTO, June 14 /CNW/ - Ashoka, a global organization with a 26-year
history and network of more than 1,800 social entrepreneurs serving 70
countries, announced today it has received a grant from Staples Foundation for
Learning (SFFL), the charitable arm of Staples, Inc, and STAPLES Business
Depot's community@work corporate giving program. The 100,000$CAD grant will
support Youth Venture - GenV in Canada, an Ashoka-originated initiative that
is investing in and catalyzing a movement of young changemakers. This year's
global 500,000$USD grant will enable Ashoka to expand Youth Venture - GenV to
Canada and Belgium and continue the program in the five countries Staples
Foundation for Learning supported in 2006: France, Germany, Spain, Argentina
and Brazil.
    Steve Matyas, president of STAPLES Business Depot Canada, will be
presenting the grant today to Ashoka Canada at a ceremony at their
headquarters in Richmond Hill, Toronto, Ontario. Marc Kielburger, an Ashoka
Fellow from Canada, will be addressing a group of STAPLES Business Depot
associates at the ceremony. Marc started Volunteer Now! to make social
advocacy "cool" in Toronto high schools. His international organization,
founded on the principal that young people have the power to change the world,
seeks to motivate young people to become active in their communities and
around the globe.
    The global alliance marks the first time Youth Venture - GenV is working
together with a leading corporation to deliver Youth Venture's program to
Canadian youth and reflects STAPLES Business Depot's commitment to
philanthropic investment in entrepreneurship. With Staples' support, Youth
Venture is able to increase its presence and create more opportunities for
young people to have the transformative experience of taking initiative and
launching their own community-benefiting ventures.
    "Ashoka's commitment to enabling social entrepreneurs to realize their
dreams while benefiting the local community is very much in line with our
company's entrepreneurial roots and spirit," said Steve Matyas, president of
STAPLES Business Depot Canada. "Investing in youth and their entrepreneurial
ventures is an essential component of our community@work corporate giving
program at STAPLES Business Depot."
    "This exciting and growing partnership highlights the power of
entrepreneurship," said Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO of Ashoka. "Together,
STAPLES Business Depot and Youth Venture are showing how powerful
organizations and societies are built and run by changemakers. Youth Venture,
with Staples Foundation for Learning's support, aims to inspire all young
people around the world to become changemakers and thus dramatically increase
our ability as a global society to solve problems and thrive."

    About Ashoka

    Ashoka is the world's community of leading social entrepreneurs -
individuals with innovative and practical ideas for addressing social needs.
Working with these social entrepreneurs, Ashoka builds communities of
innovators who work collectively to transform society and design new ways for
the social sector to become more productive, entrepreneurial and globally
integrated. For more information, please visit www.ashoka.org.

    About Youth Venture - GenV

    Youth Venture inspires and invests in teams of young people to start
their own sustainable social ventures and connects them into a powerful global
network. These youth are coming together through the Youth Venture movement
-GenV and are redefining the youth years as a time of initiative and positive
change. For more information, please visit www.youthventure.org. and
www.genv.net.

    About STAPLES Business Depot

    The Business Depot Ltd. was founded in Toronto in 1991. It is Canada's
largest supplier of office supplies, business machines, office furniture and
business services for the small business and home office customer. The company
is an everyday low price retailer. The chain operates stores in all provinces
across Canada under the banners STAPLES(R) Business Depot(TM) and BUREAU EN
GROS(TM). The company has over 13,000 employees serving customers through more
than 270 office superstores, catalogue, and e-commerce. STAPLES(R) Business
Depot(TM)/BUREAU EN GROS(TM) is committed to making shopping easy by offering
customers three ways to shop - on-line, by catalogue and in-store. More
information is available at www.staples.ca.

    About community@work

    Through its new corporate giving program - community@work - STAPLES
Business Depot is proud to partner with local community leaders to identify
and support programs and initiatives focusing on three core areas:
environment, education and entrepreneurship. For more information please visit
www.staples.ca/community.

    About Staples Foundation for Learning

    The mission of Staples Foundation for Learning, Inc. is to teach, train
and inspire. Founded in 2002, the foundation has contributed nearly
$10 million to national and local charities that provide educational
opportunities and job skills for all people, with a special emphasis on
disadvantaged youth. Staples Foundation for Learning has also developed
lasting relationships with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Earth Force,
Hispanic Heritage Foundation and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City.
In addition, Staples Foundation for Learning supports Ashoka, an organization
that develops and supports social entrepreneurs around the world, in eight
countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the
United States. For more information about the foundation or how to apply for a
grant, please visit www.staplesfoundation.org.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: Karen Cleveland, Veritas Communications, (416)
482-2248 ext. 229 cleveland@veritascanada.com; Beverly Schwartz, Ashoka Global
Marketing, (703) 527-8300 ext 227, bschwartz@ashoka.org; Alessandra Saccal,
STAPLES Business Depot, (905) 737-1147 x 2363, alessandra.saccal@staples.ca


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