Microsoft has announced intentions to promote 10,000 African businesses over the next five years through a number of initiatives, including partnerships with accelerators and incubators throughout the continent.
It also announced plans 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 initiatives will be carried out by Microsoft’s newly founded Africa Transformation Office (ATO), which is responsible for driving the company’s strategic ambitions in Africa through partnerships with public and private organizations.
“Our goal in forming these connections with venture capital investors is to expand the network of potential partnerships between Microsoft, venture capital investors, and startups, hence boosting the investment accessible to qualifying entrepreneurs,” said Gerald Maithya, ATO’s lead for startups.
Microsoft 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 variety of services and mentors.
Co-selling options with Microsoft’s corporate and enterprise customers are also available through the Founders Hub.
“On the global startup landscape, Africa has enormous potential to become a vibrant hub of digital innovation.”
“Our goal is to witness a flood of local inventions that will benefit not only Africa’s digital economy, but the entire world,” said ATO managing director Wael Elkabbany.
Microsoft has joined the growing number of IT corporations launching initiatives aimed at African startups.