The Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA), working jointly with the Israeli Ministry of Education, announced on Monday that Israeli non-profit Unistream was selected to operate a new program focused on teenaged entrepreneurs in northern and southern Israel in grades 7 through 12.
The program, called “Young Entrepreneurs,” aims to “educate and encourage teens in scientific and technological entrepreneurship, giving them practical experience in developing knowledge and products while utilizing the technological and scientific infrastructure of the Israeli Education Ministry,” the IIA said in a statement. Participants in the after-school program will receive assistance and backing to transform their tech ideas into commercial products and will work with key figures from the Israeli high-tech industry, academia, and other frameworks such as incubators and innovation labs to develop their ideas.
The program will work with a budget of NIS 10 million (almost $3 million) over the next five years.
Some 120 entrepreneurial groups are expected to be established each year in dozens of local municipalities across Israel with an emphasis on minority populations and areas in the periphery, the IIA said in the statement. Youth from the ultra-Orthodox, Bedouin, and Druze communities, along with at-risk-youth and others will be integrated into the program, according to the announcement
Unistream was founded in 2001 and works with some 85 communities in Israel including thousands of teenagers every year. The organization was established to empower teens and young people to overcome challenges and provide them with the learning tools for the business and tech worlds.
“Encouraging and developing an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age will ensure a continuing stream of scientific and technological ideas that have the potential to become ground-breaking companies,” said Anya Eldan, deputy director of the Israel Innovation Authority. “We see great importance in developing innovation and entrepreneurship in northern and southern Israel and this program is a significant part of this process.”
Mohana Fares, head of nationwide programs at the Ministry of Education, said, “The Young Entrepreneurs program is intended to give equal opportunity to pupils living in the periphery, and to allow them to take part in Israel’s science, research, and technological leadership in the future. Following our success promoting mathematics, the sciences, and English, we are launching the Young Entrepreneurs program in order to continue effecting positive change.”