Companies aim to benefit a million people by democratizing access to impactful technology
Microsoft Corp. and Accenture are teaming to help deepen the reach of entrepreneurs and start-ups 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.
Microsoft and Accenture’s collaboration is part of their shared vision to amplify the societal impact of emerging technology with the long-term goal of reaching a million lives globally. 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.
“Startups in the social impact and sustainability space are among the world’s most inspiring organizations,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations. “It’s important that their passion for meaningful innovation and creating positive change is supported. Microsoft’s collaboration with Accenture offers us an opportunity to empower these startups so they can use technology to make an even greater impact in addressing many of the world’s most pressing challenges. By empowering them, our goal is to help change the lives of a million people.”
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).
Paul Daugherty, group chief executive-Technology and chief technology officer at Accenture, added, “Our experience shows that by applying emerging technologies to critical challenges facing society, we can accelerate social transformation. This collaboration is a great illustration of delivering on ‘value’ and ‘values’ — creating tangible business and social value while aligning with people’s values. By providing social impact entrepreneurs with direct access to the combined power of Accenture and Microsoft’s technology expertise, we can help significantly improve access, equality, inclusion, education, health, sustainability, and the environment.”
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.