The President of Microsoft Africa, Lillian Barnard, revealed this during a press conference in Lagos.
Barnard said the tech giant will equip SMEs with essential tools, infrastructure, and scaling support, facilitating their growth and fostering strategic collaborations.
She remarked, “Microsoft is committed to fast-tracking economic growth in Africa through the transformative power of technology – a key part of this involves making it possible for SMEs to acquire the digital financial tools and services they need to succeed.
“We believe greater access to technology and innovation holds the key to building thriving local businesses that will create stronger economies to enable a brighter future for all.”
Further, she noted that fintechs are helping SMEs and the informal sector, which creates a bulk of employment as they provide seven out of 10 jobs in the country and contribute about 40 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product of any economy.
Microsoft also signed a 5-year strategic partnership with Flutterwave, to revolutionise payment in Africa.
A key challenge for both SMEs and startups is a lack of access to financial services and the inability to transact seamlessly across local payment methods.
The Country Manager of Microsoft Nigeria, Ola Williams said, “To drive sustainable growth in Nigeria, small businesses need the ability to participate more actively in the local and even global marketplace. This begins with digital financial inclusion.
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