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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank, Microsoft and Fusion Partner on a South Asia Regional Grant Competition for Youth

March 7, 2013

This competition is for youth in Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, March 7, 2013 - World Bank, Microsoft and Sarvodaya Fusion announced a partnership today to launch an innovative grant competition titled Youth Solutions! Technology for Skills and Employment.” This project will be implemented in Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

This partnership was announced during the visit of Alexander Ferguson, Special Advisor, World Bank South Asia Region External Affairs to Sri Lanka. Sriyan D.S. Wijeratne, Microsoft Country Manager met with World Bank officials and engaged in a discussion on finding youth initiated technological solutions to address the issue of youth unemployment.

Sarvodaya-Fusion is the implementing partner of this project. Fusion will support World Bank and Microsoft outreach efforts in coordination with its regional partners to reach rural youth led social enterprises that will create jobs through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The partnership project between Microsoft and the World Bank will aim to capture youthful enthusiasm and inspire innovations for development that will lead to employment creation with a strong sustainability program worked into the proposed ideas.

This ICT-themed regional competition will showcase the fresh ideas and creativity of the young people of South Asia, and at the same time encourage them to find innovative solutions to the challenges faced by youth such as lack of skills development and unemployment. 

Each country will win one grant of $10,000 to $20,000 to carry out an innovative project, one year in duration.

Microsoft and the World Bank with the support of an external evaluation panel will shortlist innovative proposals. All shortlisted candidates will make presentations of their proposal at a regional workshop scheduled for the third week of May 2013.

More information and call for proposals will be announced on March 13, 2013.

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