Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative today launched the Biz4Afrika online portal for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya, providing access to information, and an online community for entrepreneurs.
Announcing the launch at the Connected East Africa conference being held in Diani, Kenya, Microsoft Kenya country manager Kunle Awosika said Africa’s entrepreneurs and SMEs are the continent’s largest asset, with the new portal intended to support the booming entrepreneurial sector.
“Entrepreneurship in East Africa represents the true meaning of innovation,” Awosika said.
“They [entrepreneurs]are hungry to create solutions that have market relevance and talk to the needs of society,” he said.
“Startups and SMEs are quickly becoming our biggest asset.”
With this in mind, the Biz4Afrika portal is intended to support entrepreneurs by providing a database of information and online tools, and will create a network of connected African SMEs. Microsoft 4Afrika said the company hopes the platform will have an impact on job creation, global competitiveness and wealth creation.
The platform will work on a freemium model, with a range of basic information and services available for free, while other advanced features are offered at a fee.
In addition, SMEs can also join the platform as service providers, offering their services to other entrepreneurs and SMEs – in this way acting as a platform to gain new clients.