$50M youth fund to target science, technology fields

Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry

THE $50m Youth Innovation Fund (YIF) that was introduced in the 2017 National Budget provides for young people who wish to advance their creative ideas in the field of science and technology.

In a recent interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Minister within the Ministry of Education, Nicolette Henry, said that the programme aims to harness the creative minds of the youths.
Henry said that the Youth Innovation Fund (YIF) targets Guyana’s best and brightest young people and is not necessarily for entrepreneurial purposes. “There are several other programmes that focus on entrepreneurship. However, this program will be focusing on more or less on creative ideas that are innovative and cutting edge,” the minister explained.

The minister said that in keeping with the government’s ‘green agenda’ the programme will focus on solutions for the reduction of fossil fuel usage and the Scientific Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme. The programme has an out of school and in-school component.
The in-school component is aimed at raising awareness among primary and secondary level students by having them participate in competitive activities that will challenge them to create solutions to address current global challenges utilizing STEM.

The out of school youths will be required to submit proposals which will be reviewed by a group of stakeholders before their ideas are approved for funding. Ministry Henry hopes to launch an awareness programme in 2017 that will inform students about the YIF and STEM programmes.