The intersection of tech with other sectors of life is quite wide. Hardly can innovation or entrepreneurship be spoken about without the world technology. Interestingly, large technological companies are understanding the need to create a bridge between technology and social issues or concerns by providing platforms and tools these businesses or scientists can use to make the world better. Globally, innovators and entrepreneurs are finding new ways to use technology to operate purpose-driven social enterprises that measure success by how much good they can do rather than how much profit they can make.
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Because the nature of the problems is complex and large for meaningful change to be visible, Microsoft is launching the Global Social Entrepreneurship program that offers qualified startups access to technology, education, grants, and customers.
- Social enterprises that become part of the Global Social Entrepreneurship program will receive access to free Microsoft cloud technologies, including up to $120,000 in Azure credits and $1,000/month of GitHub Enterprise, along with technical support and guidance;
- a dedicated program manager will help Global Social Entrepreneurship startups market and sell solutions and connect to large commercial organizations and nongovernmental organizations that are potential customers;
- participants focused on sustainability, accessibility, and skills and employability will also be eligible for grants; and
- social enterprises that join the Global Social Entrepreneurship program will be part of a worldwide community of like-minded innovators who come together to share ideas, foster connections and celebrate success.
Enterprise technology, or B2B startups who can best serve the customer base and benefit most from the program will be prioritized. New member applicants are evaluated using the following criteria:
- Offering an innovative technical solution that supports customers in their digital transformation.
- Less than seven years in existence.
- Less than $25M in total annual revenue.
- Seed, Series A, B, or C stage (or validated equivalent).
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- Social impact startups from around the world are welcome to apply.
- Should carry an internal business metric that addresses an important social and/or environmental challenge through products, services, and operations.
- Should have a statement of ethics and/ or a policy of responsible AI for social impact that will generate trust from customers, partners, and the public for competitive differentiation.
- Priority selection will be for startups aligning with key Microsoft strategic initiatives – qualified startups are offered access to grants in the fields of sustainability, accessibility, and skills & employability.
- Should have an established product, service, or business model which is poised for further growth in multiple communities or countries.
- Must be engaged in the development of an owned (not licensed) software-based product or service that will form a core piece of your current or intended business.
- Headquarters must be based in the countries covered by our Azure global infrastructure.
- Funding information must be verifiable.
To partner with Microsoft to create sustainable, accessible and equitable world through this program, apply here.
The last words for today is something Clayton Christensen wrote in his book
“Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.”-Clayton Christensen
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