Microsoft backs black business

Enterprise development

Software giant Microsoft is investing in South Africa big time

Microsoft South Africa is looking for more small, black-owned software development companies to join its equity equivalence-based enterprise development programme. The company first launched the initiative in 2011 and has since signed deals with five local companies: Chillisoft, iSolv Technologies, Mmapro, Maxxor and Home-Grown.

Microsoft last week issued a request for proposal (RFP) for companies looking to become part of its equity equivalence programme.

The RFP is open to small, black-owned software companies based anywhere in South Africa with a maximum of 50 employees and a maximum turnover of R15m/year. Entries close on 11 October.

The focus areas for the RFP are businesses developing software for the education, health care, consumer, safety and security, mobility, cloud computing, big data and social business sectors.

Microsoft South Africa MD, Mteto Nyatisays the programme is not aimed at providing start-up capital, but rather at “turbo-charging” the growth of existing companies that have potential.

He says the programme also addresses several of the key challenges facing South Africa: creating jobs, developing small enterprises, building the local software economy and developing scarce technology skills.

“Our investment to date has focused on fuelling innovation in high-growth areas that are currently underserved, including safety and security, health care, consumer, mobility and cloud computing,” says Nyati.




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