Microsoft reveals new YouthSpark global initiative for young people

21 Sep 2012

Microsoft is on a mission to create opportunities for some 300m youths in 100 countries spanning the globe via a new philanthropic initiative called YouthSpark.

Over the next three years, the company is planning to invest in the region of US$500m in the YouthSpark programme, while it will also be partnering with non-profits across the globe that work with youths.

The three core areas that Microsoft is aiming to “close the opportunity divide facing young people” will be around education, employment and entrepreneurship, according to a blog post.

“Helping young people globally to get a great education, find work or start their own business fits the bill. This marks a new focus for our philanthropy efforts,” said Brad Smith, general counsel at Microsoft.

The company said that for YouthSpark, it will be making Office 365 available for free for teachers and students, as well as promoting Skype in the classroom service.

In addition, Microsoft has also created three new initiatives, such as Give for Youth, a micro-giving portal to raise funds for non-profits that support youth causes; an online service for youths called YouthSpark Hub, plus an online community called Innovate for Good to encourage youths to make a difference in their communities.

Youths image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic