Microsoft offers startups free cloud tech

Innovators and entrepreneurs are finding new ways to harness technology to drive purpose-led social enterprises. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Technology giant Microsoft has announced access to free cloud technologies for startups keen on solving social and environmental challenges.

The free access includes up to Sh12.1 million ($120,000) in Azure credits, along with technical support and guidance.

Microsoft Azure is a set of cloud services to help businesses address various challenges

This will be done under the Global Social Entrepreneurship programme that the tech giant unveiled during this year’s Sankalp Forum held in Nairobi.

The global initiative is designed to help social enterprise start-ups build and scale their companies to do good globally as focus shifts to realisation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


“Solving global social and environmental challenges requires synergy of the right technology, partners, conducive environment and technology,” said Microsoft4Afrika Director Amrote Abdella at the launch of the programme.

She noted that when startups work together with investors, enterprises, governments, non-profits and communities, new potentials can be unlocked.

Social enterprises with an established product or service addressing an important social or environmental challenge qualify to apply for under the programme.

The startups ought to show a commitment to the ethical and responsible use of AI in their efforts to address social and environmental challenges. Qualified startups will be eligible for grants in the areas of sustainability, accessibility, skills and employability.

Around the world, start-ups are creating new businesses, built around powerful technologies and designed to make the world a better place.

Innovators and entrepreneurs are finding new ways to harness technology to drive purpose-led social enterprises that measure success not just by the profits they generate, but by the good they do.