As much as the world seems to be so connected online, more than half of the world’s population still doesn’t have access to the Internet and now Microsoft wants to reduce that number through Microsoft Internet access grants.
Microsoft Internet Access Grants Awarded
Microsoft Internet access grants seek to increase affordable Internet access in communities in underserved markets. The tech giant disclosed in a press release that it has awarded grants to 12 startups in 11 countries that are working to bring affordable Internet access to people around the world.
The Microsoft Internet access grants recipients include India-based hardware provider Zaya Learning Labs; application solutions companies Kelase (Indonesia), Movivo (United Kingdom), Tambero.com (Argentina), and VistaBotswana (Botswana); power solutions providers African Renewable Energy Distributor (based in Rwanda) and New Sun Road (Uganda); connectivity solutions providers AirJaldi (India), Axiom Technologies (US), C3: Communications Consulting Centre (Malawi), Ekovolt (Nigeria) and WiFi Interactive Network (Philippines).
“With more than half of the world’s population lacking access to the Internet, connectivity is a global challenge that demands creative problem solving,” Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Business Development Peggy Johnson said in a statement. “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.”
In addition to financial support, the companies benefiting from Microsoft internet access grants will have the opportunity to participate in virtual and in-person events, access to a “global network” of peers and mentors to share best practices and ongoing support from Microsoft’s Research and Development team.
Microsoft’s goal of investing $1 billion over the next three years will offer small businesses with affordable broadband services the ability to form new commercial partnerships.