We have more young people on the planet than ever before, yet they are experiencing a rate of unemployment that is double that of the rest of the population – in some countries youth unemployment has reached 50%. If that’s not shocking enough, consider that more than 100 million young people around the world lack access to education and only 44% of youth worldwide have the chance to attend secondary school.
These statistics that are at the root of an opportunity divide for young people – and in large part the reason that earlier today Microsoft launched YouthSpark.
One of the things that gives me great pride about working at Microsoft is our willingness to take on challenges of this scale – we’ve always had big, bold goals and this new initiative seeks to create opportunities for 300 million youth over the next three years. We’re under no illusion that this will be an easy task which is why we’re committing the vast majority of our corporate cash to support nonprofit organizations that serve youth. We have also announced a range of youth focused initiatives – much more detail on these can be found at microsoft.com/youthspark
Working with partners in the nonprofit community as well as industry and government’s we believe we can have a long lasting impact and help to change the world.