Microsoft awards Affordable Access Initiative grant to support global Internet access

Microsoft has awarded Affordable Access Initiative grants to 12 business establishments, which includes Ekovolt in Nigeria. The grants are provided to help companies scale their products, solutions and business approach, and techniques, thereby increasing affordable Internet access among communities worldwide.

As part of the initiative, partner companies would receive seed grants and resources including BizSpark tools such as free software, services. Moreover, companies will be able to receive high-quality technical support, which will ultimately help them to extend the reach of their hardware, applications, and connectivity.

Commenting on the Affordable Access Initiative, a Microsoft spokesperson revealed that the grant received by Nigeria-based Ekovolt enables them to establish connectivity with people, places, and things with technology. It will also simplify their daily life by making use of a wide range of wireless broadband and cloud services. Since Ekovolt is planning to expand their services, the provided grant will be adequate to meet the demands of small and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria.

Responding to media queries, Emeka Ebo, Managing Director, Ekovolt disclosed that their partnership with Microsoft enables them to integrate new technologies in delivering Internet access and related services in both urban and rural areas of Nigeria.

The company will be able to offer bundled packages of customized Internet solutions to cater to the needs of small to medium scale companies, adds Ebo.

In addition to Nigeria, the Affordable Access Initiative grant are provided to 11 countries spread across five continents in Argentina, Botswana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States.

According to Peggy Johnson, EVP of business development at Microsoft, the primary aim of the proposed grant is to empower local entrepreneurs with creative and sustainable solutions related to connectivity. Since more than half of the total population still don’t have proper access to the Internet, the creation of a rapid action connectivity force is essential to the success of businesses and people.

Besides financial support, the recipients will have access to a global network of peers and mentors, a chance to participate in annual immersive summits, monthly virtual touchpoints including direct support from Microsoft’s Research and Development team.