Microsoft today at the Connect East Africa conference has launched Biz4Afrika, a one-stop-shop for African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get online.
At the event hosted in Kenya, Kunle Awosika, Country Manager Microsoft Kenya, said that Microsoft4Afrika will focus on connecting close to 1 million SMEs by 2016 as reported by CIO Kenya magazine;
“Currently, SMEs, Entrepreneurs and start-up are creating products that are addressing the challenges we face in Africa that’s why we at Microsoft are focused on empowering SMEs,” said Kunle.
Microsoft is providing businesses with free website developed in partnership with ViGO, domain and website hosting starting as low as $1, hosted Microsoft exchange starting from $1.99/user as part of the offers it’s providing to SMEs. As you can tell, Microsoft is lowering barriers to entry for SMEs to create an online presence in Africa.
More so, the Biz4Afrika also hosts a community of like-minded professional, leading service providers across key categories that will address core challenges that most SME’s face in operating and growing their businesses in the African region. The platform already contains some content geared towards helping SMEs optimize their businesses for success.
However, despite all this “cloud goodness”, the question of high internet or data charges lingers. High data costs continue to prevent a couple of SMEs from adopting or shifting to cloud-based solutions.