Ekovolt will receive funding and resources to tackle the connectivity gap in Nigeria.
You will remember last November that Microsoft launched the Affordable Access Initiative grant, a new fund to cultivate companies with solutions that bring affordable Internet access to underserved markets.
Today Tuesday, Microsoft announces that it has awarded Affordable Access Initiative grants to 12 entrepreneurial businesses, including Ekovolt in Nigeria to help scale their solutions and business models to increase affordable. What follows is an excerpt from the official Press Release.
Internet access in communities around the world. Each company will receive seedgrants, and resources including BizSpark tools such as free software, services and technology support to help extend the reach of their hardware, applications, connectivity and power solutions. Here in Nigeria, the grant received by Ekovolt will enable simplify everyday life and connect people, places, and things with technology. With Affordable Access Initiative grant support, this wireless broadband and cloud services provider is expanding its solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria.
According to Emeka Ebo, Managing Director, Ekovolt “Our partnership helps apply new technologies in delivering Internet services to underserved markets and rural communities in Nigeria. As we combine Microsoft’s cloud solutions with Volt Internet services, we can offer bundled packages of customized Internet and Enterprise solutions for small to medium-sized businesses typically only found at large corporations.” Today’s news marks progress on the commitments Microsoft made earlier this year to invest $1 billion to bring the power of cloud technology to serve the public good, including through expanding the availability of affordable broadband services, new commercial partnerships and expanded philanthropic programs.
“With more than half of the world’s population lacking access to the Internet, connectivity is a global challenge that demands creative problem solving,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft. “By using technology that’s available now and partnering with local entrepreneurs who understand the needs of their communities, our hope is to create sustainable solutions that will not only have impact today but also in the years to come.”
Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative aims to democratize access to the Internet through grants, commercial partnerships, connecting new leaders and community engagement. Grant recipients are already addressing a range of challenges that take advantage of last-mile access technologies such as TV white spaces, and their business models also demonstrate the ability to scale up and be market-sustained. Grant recipients are based across five continents in 11 countries: Argentina, Botswana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition to financial support, grant recipients will have access to the following:
- A global network connecting social enterprises with peers and mentors to develop and share best practices
- Participation in annual immersive summits and monthly virtual touchpoints, alongside ongoing support from Microsoft’s Research and Development team.
And, to futher empower people and organization in communities benefitting from the Affordable Access Initiative, Microsoft Philanthropies will make digital literacy, online safety and computer science education programs from available through its global YouthSpark initiative, as well as cloud product donations and training for nonprofits.
Below is a complete list of the Affordable Access Initiative grant recipients. You can learn more about their solutions and Microsoft’s commitment to affordable access at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/affordable-access-initiative/home.
- African Renewable Energy Distributor (Rwanda)
- New Sun Road (Uganda)
- Zaya Learning Labs (India)
- AirJaldi (India)
- Axiom Technologies (United States)
- C3: Communications Consulting Centre (Malawi)
- Ekovolt (Nigeria)
- Wi-Fi Interactive Network (Philippines)
- Kelase (Indonesia)
- Movivo (United Kingdom)
- Tambero.com (Argentina)
- VistaBotswana (Botswana)
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.