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By 5 March 2020 | Categories: news

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Fresh from its debut of a partnership between itself and SAP, Microsoft, through its Microsoft for Startups initiative, has announced the launch of its Global Social Entrepreneurship programme.

The company explained that globally startups are “creating new businesses, built around powerful technologies and designed to make the world a better place.”

It was a point raised by SAP South Africa MD Cathy Smith earlier this week, that increasingly we see large companies engaging in social enterprise, where their success is not solely measured by increases in the bottom line, but by the good they do in the world around them as well.

Such noble endeavors limited to multi-billion rand corporations. Innovators and entrepreneurs are also finding new ways to harness technology to drive purpose-led social enterprises, dedicated to inspiring positive changes.

Whether this is around the environment, social and economic equality or improving the health of populations, to name a few, these are not small problems, and nor can any of them be solved by a single company on its own. With this in mind, Microsoft explained, its Global Social Entrepreneurship programme to help qualified startups in their quest, by offering them access to technology, skills, customers and grants.

“Solving global social and environmental challenges requires synergy of the right technology, partners, conducive environment and technology. When startups work together with investors, enterprises, governments, non-profits and communities, we are able to unlock new potentials,” explained Microsoft4Afrika Director Amrote Abdella.

This is just the beginning

More specifically, social enterprises that become part of the Global Social Entrepreneurship programme will receive access to free Microsoft cloud technologies, including up to $120,000 in Azure credits, along with technical support and guidance.

Beyond this, there are other benefits of the programme, which is available in 140 markets, This  includes a dedicated programme manager that will help Global Social Entrepreneurship startups market and sell solutions and connect to large commercial organisations and nongovernmental organisations that are potential customers.

Participants focused on sustainability, accessibility, and skills and employability will also be eligible for grants. Furthermore, Microsoft expanded, the social enterprises that join the Global Social Entrepreneurship programme will be part of a worldwide community of like-minded innovators who come together to share ideas, foster connections and celebrate success.

The criteria to qualify for the programme includes a business metric that measures impact on an important social or environmental challenge; an established product or service that will benefit from access to enterprise customers; and a commitment to the ethical and responsible use of AI. Qualified startups will be eligible for grants in the areas of sustainability, accessibility, skills and employability.

Interested parties can visit startups.microsoft.com/socialentrepreneurship for more information or to apply.

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