The company said the initiative would be implemented though a range of global programmes in partnership with governments, non-profit organisations and other businesses.
The essence of the programme is to empower youths to imagine and realise their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.
Through Microsoft YouthSpark, the Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft, Mr. Steve Ballmer, said the technology giant would dedicate the majority of its cash contributions to nonprofits that serve the youth population around the world.
In addition, Microsoft YouthSpark will include Office 365 for education, free technology tools for all teachers and students to power learning and collaboration, and Skype in the classroom, a free global community for teachers to connect their students with others around the world.
Ballmer said, “Through Microsoft YouthSpark, we are making a commitment to help 300 million young people around the world achieve their dreams by focusing our citizenship efforts and other company resources on connecting young people with opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.
“We believe that working with our partners, we can help empower young people to change their world, and we are committed to using our technology, talent, time and resources to do that.”
The company’s youth-focused philanthropy, according to him, will be conducted in close collaboration with nonprofits around the world such as GlobalGiving Foundation, TakingITGlobal, Telecentre.org Foundation and the International Youth Foundation, as well as regional nonprofits such as Silatech in the Middle East, The Trust for Americas in Latin America, AIESEC International in Europe, and the ASEAN Foundation in Asia.
Commenting in the initiative, the Executive Vice-President, Microsoft, Mr. Brad Smith, said, “Our next generation of citizenship will focus on the next generation of people. The global unemployment rate for workers under age 25 is 12.7 per cent, which is double the rate for the world as a whole.