Microsoft is furthering its mission statement to help technology users achieve more with a new Global Entrepreneurship program. The effort builds on previous projects like AI for Earth and AI for Good but expands to all tech-oriented enterprises that are trying to have a positive impact.
“Our global initiative is designed to help social enterprise startups build and scale their companies to do good globally,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and president, Microsoft Global sales, in a blog post. “The program is available in 140 countries and will actively seek to support underrepresented founders with diverse perspectives and backgrounds.”
To qualify for the program, companies must have a business metric that measures their impact on “an important social or environmental challenge”. They must also have an established product or service that will benefit from enterprise customers and commit to ethical and responsible AI use.
Get accepted to the Global Entrepreneurship program and you may benefit from up to $120,00 in Azure credits, a dedicated program manager for sale to enterprises, and grants. Of course, you'll also get the power of Microsoft's name behind you, which could prove very valuable.
Microsoft will be joined by partners like MIT Solve, a marketplace for social impact innovation at the university that currently supports over 130 teams across the world. This should help it expand its network in various countries while taking some of the load off.
In the meantime, the company highlighted several social enterprises for inspiration. The Cape Town-based Zindi is a platform for machine learning competitions, while the Seabin Project in Australia combines education and technology with the goal to remove ocean waste.
“I believe more than ever that amazing things happen when startups work together with investors, enterprises, governments, nonprofits and communities,” closes Courtois. “Through Global Social Entrepreneurship, we look forward to working in close partnership with social enterprises from around the world”.