Microsoft has announced new efforts to help 10,000 African companies grow faster.
The projects will be overseen by the company’s newly formed Africa Transformation Office (ATO), which will also see the internet giant invest in Africa’s startup ecosystem at a faster pace over the next five years.
Through the ATO, Microsoft’s recently launched worldwide Founders Hub will now be available to African companies. The Founders Portal is a self-service hub that connects startups to mentors, skilling courses, Microsoft Azure and GitHub, as well as go-to-market and business help.
Microsoft is also forming new collaborations with accelerators and incubators across Africa, including Grindstone, Greenhouse, FlapMax, and Seedstars, to provide access to markets, technical skills, and investment options for industry-based entrepreneurs.
These agreements will give African businesses access to training programs, markets, including chances to co-sell with Microsoft, and technology, as well as help from Microsoft’s engineering and product teams for co-innovation.
Microsoft has already formed partnerships with a number of key venture capital investors, including Banque Misr, Global Venture Capital, and Get Funded Africa, with the goal of expanding this network of venture capital investors over the next five years to help them scale up and drive economic growth.
The robust African startup industry, according to Microsoft, is ideally positioned to become a cornerstone of the continent’s digital economy, encouraging local innovation through appropriate solutions to social concerns.