Applications to open for youth digital scholarships

  • Nikki Kaye

Youth Minister Nikki Kaye says applications will open tomorrow for the Youth Digital Enterprise Awards scheme, aimed at helping today’s young people become tomorrow’s digital entrepreneurs.

“This scheme targets young people aged 12 to 18 years who have an innovative enterprise project with a digital focus, or great ideas for developing such a project,” says Ms Kaye.

“Total funding of $110,000 is available in 2017/18, and I’m inviting applications for $1000 scholarships, from either individuals or groups, to support them to develop their idea or project.

“Successful applicants can use their $1000 scholarship to help meet costs such as market research to identify demand for a digital product, building or testing a prototype digital product, attending a digital focused event or programme or obtaining input from an industry expert.

“After submitting an expression of interest, the application process involves delivering a short presentation to a regional panel, comprising representatives of the tech sector as well as the Ministries of Education and Youth Development.

“This will provide an opportunity to engage with local stakeholders who could be a source of ongoing support.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the innovative ideas and products that will be supported by this scheme.

“I meet so many young people who have the skills, creativity, business acumen and potential to set themselves on a path to success, and at the same time play a significant role in our economic development.

“The Youth Digital Enterprise Awards scheme is part of the broader, $40 million package of support I announced in June to support the digital fluency of our young people.

“Earlier this week, I announced that the Ministry of Education is finalising criteria for another part of this package, the $6 million Digital Technology for All Equity Fund. This fund will open for proposals next month, and will support tech sector providers to deliver in-school and out-of-school programmes that involve young people in innovative digital technologies learning.

“Digital technologies are now an integral part of most workplaces, and New Zealand companies are exporting more high-tech products and services.

“It’s important we encourage and support young people to develop the entrepreneurial and digital skills and understanding they will need to succeed in this fast-changing world.”

Information on how to apply for the scholarships will be available from tomorrow on the Ministry of Youth Development website.