Microsoft’s newly announced Global Social Entrepreneurship program helps identify and support organizations doing good around the world. Microsoft will work with MIT Solve to find social entrepreneurs that can make a difference. The program already works to support enterprises, including OmniVis, which utilizes a cellphone to test water for cholera, the Seabin Project, which removes plastics from oceans, and Zindi, which helps connect organizations with AI to solve issues. Microsoft details those projects and explains what benefits organizations can receive in a Microsoft blog post.
Jean-Philippe Cortois, EVP and President of Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing & Operations, authored the blog post and explains why these programs are so important,
These are huge, complicated problems and far too large for any single organization to hope to solve alone. So to empower social entrepreneurs, Microsoft is launching a new Global Social Entrepreneurship program to offer qualified startups access to technology, education, customers and grants.
Social enterprises that become part of the Global Social Entrepreneurship program receive several benefits, including access to free Microsoft cloud technologies, up to $120,000 in Azure credits, and technical support and guidance. Enterprises in the program will also have a dedicated program manager to help market and sell solutions to “connect to large commercial organizations and nongovernmental organizations that are potential customers.” The program is available in 140 countries and seeks out “underrepresented founders with diverse perspectives and backgrounds.”
Microsoft breaks down the requirements to qualify for the program in its blog post:
The criteria to qualify for the program include 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.
To find social entrepreneurs, Microsoft will work with MIT Solve, which works with more than 130 teams of social entrepreneurs from 36 countries. MIT Solve is a marketplace for social impact at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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