As part of a recent tender, Unistream, a non-profit organization, was selected to operate the Young Entrepreneurs program in northern and southern Israel through its “Start Up Now” program. The program 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, including the Eshkolot and Tapuchei Pais programs, to encourage and educate teenagers in scientific, technological, and business entrepreneurship. The youth receive assistance in transforming their tech ideas into products with commercial value. In addition, they are introduced to key figures from industry, academia, startups and other frameworks like incubators or entrepreneurial labs to receive cooperation and assistance in developing products and reaching markets. The program is an after-school activity for children from the 7th to the 12th grades.
Through the program, some 120 entrepreneurial groups will be established each year in dozens of local municipalities across Israel, with an emphasis on minority populations and areas in the periphery. Unistream has been working for 19 years in 85 communities in Israel, serving more than 3,500 teens per year. Youth from the ultra-Orthodox, Bedouin, and Druze communities, along with at-risk-youth and others will be integrated into the program. Unistream was established to give teens and young people from the geographic and social periphery the necessary tools to forge their future, overcome challenges in their communities, and succeed in the business and entrepreneurial world while leading community efforts that positively impact their home communities.
Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen said: “Entrepreneurialism and innovation are the key to the continued prosperity of Israel’s economy. Advancing entrepreneurship and innovation all across the country, especially in the periphery, is a top priority of the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry. The program is intended to expand young Israelis’ knowledge in the fields of innovation and business enterprise and give them the professional tools and necessary guidance in order to realize their potential and to succeed in encouraging them to become entrepreneurs. The students are the future of the State of Israel and we will continue to grant them the type of assistance the ministry has created in order to maintain Israel’s standing as a startup nation.”
Anya Eldan, Deputy Director of the Israel Innovation Authority, said: “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. Support given through the program will assist in expanding this activity in peripheral areas beyond what exists today and will promote entrepreneurial thinking among a larger number of youth across Israel. 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 Nation-Wide programs at the Israeli Ministry of Education, said: “Narrowing gaps is one of the central goals we are aiming at, led by the Minister of Education and the Director General of the ministry. 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.”