The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has signed a partnership with Microsoft East Africa for the company’s assistance in training and mentoring 200,000 entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, under the UNDP’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP).
The agreement sees senior Microsoft executive volunteers provide support – including mentoring entrepreneurs on strategy and marketing -; support the best innovators and nominate them for the 4Afrika Innovation Grant Award; provide access to Microsoft’s free software for startup entrepreneurs scheme BizSpark; and in the future help entrepreneurs exchange products and service and gain global recognition through the Microsoft Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) portal.
The partnership also includes ‘Build Your Own Business’ training, intended to help micro and small businesses empower entrepreneurs.
“The goods and services offered by Microsoft provides a unique opportunity to unleash the potential of young and budding entrepreneurs. This will help them to play a vital role in the economic growth and transformational development of Ethiopia,” said Eugene Owusu, the UNDP’s resident representative.
The initiative falls under Microsoft’s 4Afrika programme, which aims to accelerate Africa’s economic development and improve its global competitiveness by empowering local entrepreneurs.
“It is critical to develop the capacity, knowledge and skills of local entrepreneurs who will stimulate local economies. We look forward to working with the UNDP in taking innovative business models to scale,” said Eric Odipo, country manager of Microsoft East and Southern Africa.
“Entrepreneurs hold the key in driving innovation and long term competitiveness in the African economy. Microsoft’s partnership with UNDP to support 200,000 entrepreneurs in Ethiopia is the first step in driving this growth,” said Amrote Abdella, Microsoft’s director of startup engagement and partnerships, Africa initiatives at Microsoft.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.