REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Five years ago, Microsoft Corp. launched the TechSpark program with a goal to accelerate economic growth in six communities across the United States and Mexico. TechSpark works with local community organizations to develop digital skills, support nonprofits and create jobs. Microsoft is now expanding this program to all 50 states via a new TechSpark Fellows model.
The expansion beyond eight existing locations to communities across the United States means Microsoft will supply a grant to support a TechSpark fellow, along with hands-on mentorship and training. The program will remain hyperlocal and partner-driven with a focus on four key issues:
Microsoft is also releasing a playbook and a resource hub to replicate and build on approaches learned thus far, designed for anyone looking to drive change in their community and help bolster the local economy.
Communities across America are facing significant headwinds, especially in this economic environment. The Brookings Institution notes that "digitalization divides across and within places now stand as one of the nation's starkest limits on opportunity." Rural small-business owners feel more uncertain about their future than urban counterparts. Significant areas of the country either don't have access to or can't afford broadband internet, according to Microsoft research. And it's often tough to raise money for startups outside major, coastal metropolitan areas — venture capital is overly indexed on the coasts.
Since its inception, TechSpark has catalyzed new funding resources for communities, helped create new jobs, helped people gain critical digital skills, and supported new startups and local organizations including:
Microsoft TechSpark thus far has resulted in:
Microsoft is holding an information session on March 1 — sign up at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/corporate-responsibility/techspark.
Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
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SOURCE Microsoft Corp.