Microsoft recently renewed its Affordable Access Initiative grant to continue to fund companies that enable parts of the continent to connect to the internet
It is estimated that 53 per cent of the world is currently offline. Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative is taking action and is awarding grants for solutions that enable internet connectivity and drive services and business models through affordable access in underserved communities.
The Microsoft mission is to 'empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.'
The Affordable Access Initiative Grant Fund is currently open to applications, but will close at the month, with proposals due at Midnight US Pacific Standard Time on 31 January 2017.
According to the eligibility criteria on Microsoft's website, solutions should; 'leverage low-cost forms of last-mile internet connectivity, off-grid energy solutions, and/or alternative payment mechanisms,' and 'demonstrate innovative approaches to utilising and/or selling cloud services.'
Applicants must; 'be a commercial organisation with two or more full-time employees, have a working solution and paying customers, demonstrate potential to scale to new markets and be free of any legal or regulatory encumbrances.'
Further details can be found on the Microsoft site here.