Microsoft, the world’s biggest provider of computer software, has stated today that it will assist 10,000 African businesses over the next five years through a range of programs, including collaborations with accelerators and incubators across the continent.
Located in more than 60 countries, the multibillion-dollar corporation also announced its intention to collaborate with venture capitalists to boost access to capital for African entrepreneurs by releasing $500 million in “potential” investment. Microsoft has previously partnered with Banque Misr, Global Venture Capital, and Get Funded Capital, according to the company.
These projects will be implemented by the Africa Transformation Office (ATO), which was recently established. By engaging with governmental and private organizations, the ATO supports Microsoft’s strategic ambitions in Africa.
The objectives of the firm in forming these partnerships with venture capital investors, according to Microsoft Africa Transformation Office startups lead Gerald Maithya, is to expand the network of prospective partnerships between Microsoft, venture capital investors, and innovators, thereby boosting the funding made available to qualified startups.
The compnay announced that it would form collaborations with accelerators and incubators such as Grindstone, Greenhouse, FlapMax, and Seedstars in order to give markets, technical expertise, and financial opportunities.
African startups will get access to Microsoft’s global Founders Hub, a self-service hub that provides businesses with a range of services and mentors.
Co-selling options with Microsoft’s corporate and enterprise customers are also available through the Founders Hub.
Wael Elkabbany, managing director of the Microsoft Africa Transformation Office, believes that Africa has enormous potential to become a booming powerhouse of digital innovation on the global startup ecosystem.
The company’s goal is to witness an avalanche of local inventions that will benefit not only Africa’s digital economy but also the rest of the world.
Microsoft joins a growing list of major corporations, such as Google, that are launching projects aimed at African startups.
Following up on its Google for Firms Accelerator Africa program, Google announced a $50 million Africa Investment Fund last year, aimed at early and growth-stage companies on the continent.
It is an exciting initiative because Africa has the biggest number of small businesses in the world, this program will help these businesses grow and become global giants.
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