Microsoft Affordable Access Initiative Now Accepting Applications – Deadline January 31, 2017

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Microsoft Affordable Access Initiative Grant Fund is now accepting applications. The Initiative is designed to support, grow and scale innovative businesses that are developing technologies and business models that have the potential to help billions of people affordably get online. Areas of interest include last mile access technologies, off-grid renewable energy solutions, alternative payment mechanisms, as well as verticals such as healthcare, education, agriculture, and more.

This grant provides a great opportunity for Small Businesses Expanding Affordable Internet Access and is connected to the work of Microsoft Philanthropies, which is helping to bring technology’s benefits to those who need them most.  Microsoft Philanthropies is making its digital literacy, online safety and computer science education programs available to grant recipients and the communities they serve.

Most of the world is not connected to the internet. Underserved markets, rural areas and economically-disadvantaged communities are least likely to have access to the internet. With advances in the affordable access ecosystem and your solutions, 3.9 billion more people will be empowered to engage in the digital economy.

Eligibility criteria

Solution should:

  • Leverage low-cost forms of last-mile internet connectivity, off-grid energy solutions, and/or alternative payment mechanisms
  • Demonstrate innovative approaches to utilizing and/or selling cloud services

Applicants must:

  • Be a commercial organization with two or more full-time employees (we will not accept applications from non-profits, government agencies, or academic institutions)
  • Have a working solution and paying customers
  • Demonstrate potential to scale to new markets
  • Be free of any legal or regulatory encumbrances

Last year,  the Microsoft Affordable Access Initiative awarded grants to 12 businesses including five from Africa — VistaAfrica from Bostwana, C3 from Malawi, Ekovolt from Nigeria, ARED from Rwanda,  New Sun Road from Uganda. You can read more about the previous grant recipients here.

Businesses wishing to apply for this year’s grants should comply with the above criteria. To apply, please click here. Applications will be accepted until midnight PST on January 31, 2017.


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Bob is a Senior Editor and Content Development Manager at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch. He holds a BS degree, with a major in biochemistry. He works directly with the Newsroom Team. His focus areas are technology and innovation, and pharmaceutical technology. Email: