Microsoft has published a post on its News Center today to announce the twelve winners worldwide of its Affordable Access Initiative grants.
As the name implies, the grants especially targets businesses whose goal is to increase affordable internet access around the world. Twelve entrepreneurial businesses from four categories - Power Solutions, Hardware Solutions, Connectivity Solutions, and Application Solutions - have been chosen as the receiver for this year's grants - which will include seed grants, resources like free software and solutions, and also ongoing support from Microsoft R&D, among other benefits. The grants, part of Microsoft's commitment on a $1 billion investment in cloud power for public good, is expected to help these businesses maximize their potential to scale up and become sustainable.
“With more than half of the world’s population lacking access to the Internet, connectivity is a global challenge that demands creative problem solving,” “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.”
- Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of business development, Microsoft
The recipients of the grants come from 11 countries around the world, including Argentina, Botswana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Nigeria, the Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda, the UK and the US. The full list of winners as well as information on their solutions can be found at Microsoft's Affordable Access Initiative homepage. Overall, the program is another great effort from Microsoft to support the future of technology, and demonstrate the company's position as a leader in technology and human empowerment.