Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) are teaming to help deepen the reach of entrepreneurs and startups that are focused on social impact and sustainability.
The joint initiative will provide hands-on support and technologies to social enterprises, helping them to build scalable solutions and business models that can lead to more tangible and lasting benefits for a greater number of people around the world.
Through the program, Microsoft Research India and Accenture Labs will help social enterprise startups test and validate proof-of-concepts; conduct design thinking sessions to help them re-envision the impact of their solutions; and provide support in exploring and using Microsoft technologies.
With a particular focus on the areas of agriculture, education and healthcare, the program will initially engage with startups in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, leveraging the MSR India Center for Societal impact through Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (SCAI).
Microsoft’s involvement in this initiative is part of Microsoft’s Global Social Entrepreneurship program designed to empower an ecosystem of tech-enabled startups globally, focused on addressing important social or environmental challenges. The Global Social Entrepreneurship program supports startups with access to breakthrough technology in Microsoft AI, cloud expertise, go-to-market services, grants (in sustainability, accessibility, and skills & employability) and access to customers that facilitate connections on local and global levels.
The involvement of Accenture Labs is part of its ongoing Tech4Good program, which is focused on applying emerging technologies in powerful ways to help solve complex social challenges.