Microsoft Partners With M-PESA Africa to Create Digital Skills for MSMEs

Microsoft and M-PESA Africa are working together to support the Capability Development Academy.

The partnership aims to give Micro, Small and Medium SMEs (MSMEs) in many African markets access to the Microsoft Community Platform and SME Skilling Programs to foster capacity building and digitisation.

M-PESA Africa will digitise skilling through the Microsoft Community and Training platform and use the community platform to give MSMEs the skills they need to build stronger business models, manage their money, and provide first-rate customer care.

In keeping with our mission to improve lives, we keep pursuing innovations and alliances that give customers and businesses throughout the continent access to additional opportunities while enhancing their standard of living. We are thrilled to work with Microsoft to upskill business owners and give them access to tools that will help them operate their companies more effectively and expand their operations. Because they make up the majority of African economies, supporting micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises to flourish has a particularly positive effect on the local communities in which they operate, according to Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, managing director of M-PESA Africa.

With over 60 million clients and 900,000 businesses connected through M-PESA business solutions in eight countries, processing over 91 million transactions and over $1 billion in daily value, M-PESA is Africa’s premier fintech and payments provider.

Africa could provide the next generation of workers because it has the youngest working population in the world. To seize this chance, however, the growing skills gap must be addressed. Small and medium-sized businesses play a significant role in Africa’s inclusive socioeconomic progress. These companies serve as the economic backbone of their nations and can promote inclusive socioeconomic development.

SMEs contribute for 40% of the GDP and at least 90% of new jobs in emerging economies. However, despite having the greatest rate of entrepreneurship in the world, data shows that up to 80% of African SMEs fail within the first five years. Some of the major potential roadblocks for SMEs are access to capital, digital skills, and business enablement technologies.

Microsoft’s Africa Transformation Office aims to provide MSMEs with the tools they need to expand their market access and significantly contribute to the overall economic growth of nations. The company develops useful business tools and ready-to-use skilling information to help 10 million African SMEs get digital.

M-PESA business solutions’ Microsoft skill-building classes will enable MSMEs to gain the information they need to better manage their money, including developing skills like cash flow management, basic accounting, and financial planning. Their likelihood of obtaining formal financial services, such as bank accounts, loans, and company insurance, increases as a result of these skills. By using digital tools, MSMEs may access digital payment systems, which can help them save time and money by avoiding the expenses of manual transactions.

Microsoft’s skill-building initiatives will also assist MSMEs in acquiring the entrepreneurial abilities required to launch and expand a successful firm.

The program hopes to create possibilities for these small enterprises to participate in the global market while also enhancing the livelihoods of MSME entrepreneurs and their communities. In keeping with Sustainable Development Goal 10 of the UN, the core objective of the MSME upskilling initiative is to lessen inequality and empower vulnerable people. Several M-PESA Africa markets, including Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania, will support the initiative.

Digitalization has a tremendous impact on financial inclusion, especially for underserved and unserved businesses like MSMEs. For the continent to have inclusive and sustainable economic growth, it is crucial to create a climate that is favorable to these significant economically active firms. “We are excited to see the beneficial impact of our relationship with M-PESA Africa across the continent,” says Gerald Maithya, Managing Director, Africa Transformation Office, Microsoft. “We are happy to be at the forefront of pushing MSME development and financial inclusion in Africa.


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