US tech giant Microsoft on Thursday announced the extension of a six-month program which helps women to start and build their businesses through its cloud distribution channels. This is meant to cover Kenya and eight other countries around the world. The initiative deemed Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program gives the firms access to resources. This includes expert mentorship, networking communities and sourcing customers in order to grow their cloud businesses and create jobs. Previously it was only available in the US market before being expanded to South Africa, Canada, France, Germany, India, the United Arab Emirates and the UK.
To join, women have so far been required to pay Sh 101,000 ($1000) fee and win at least one business to business customer within the six months with a contract value of Sh 10 million ($100,000).
Through a multi-million-dollar, multi-year investment from Microsoft, it is Microsoft’s goal that this program can help generate $1 billion in cloud opportunity. This is achieved by providing accessible cloud technology to more than 1,000 women-led tech firms annually, enabling them to scale their businesses.