The pay-TV and telecoms company Sky is expanding its Women in Tech Scholars programme in its second year from three places to five.

In addition to winning a £25,000 bursary, the scholars will be paired with an expert mentor in their chosen field. Over the course of the one-year scheme, the mentor will be on hand to provide technical support as well as access to a network of business contacts.

“The programme has already achieved remarkable success with the current scholars already recognised for their work across the globe,” the company said in a statement. In the last twelve months its female entrepreneurs have gone onto work with companies like Rolls Royce and Airbnb.

One scholar, Kike Oniwinde, was recognised in the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 for founding the Black Young Professionals Networking app.

Speaking about her experience of the programme, Kike said: “This scholarship has contributed to my development as an entrepreneur. Having that access to expert support has been beneficial and I’m incredibly grateful.  I’m part of a community here, with people who are invested in helping me succeed.”

Applications are now open until the end of April to women of any age and across any field of technology, including software development, broadcast engineering, AI and machine learning, robotics, and digital.

Elaine Bucknor, director for group technology strategy at Sky, said: “Our hope is that the scholarships will make a real difference to the careers of these women – it will give them a chance to explore new avenues and build new skills and create successful businesses.”

Sky’s Women in Tech Scholars programme is part of Sky’s Bigger Picture programme, “investing in the next generation of talent across media, sports and technology”.