Microsoft has announced a partnership with M-PESA Africa to drive capacity building and digitisation for Micro, Small and Medium SMEs (MSMEs) across several African markets.
Microsoft in a press release said it will provide access to its Community and Training platform where M-PESA Africa will digitise skilling and leverage the community platform to equip MSMEs with the necessary skills to develop stronger business models, manage their finances and offer exceptional customer service.
M-PESA is Africa’s leading fintech and payments service, connecting over 60 million customers and more than 900,000 businesses through M-PESA business solutions across eight countries, processing over 91 million transactions and over $1 billion in daily value.
Microsoft said its skilling programs available through M-PESA business solutions will empower MSMEs to develop the knowledge they need to manage their finances more effectively, including building skills such as basic accounting, financial planning and cash flow management. The skilling programs will also help MSMEs develop the entrepreneurial skills they need to start and grow a successful business.
“We are excited to partner with Microsoft to upskill entrepreneurs and provide them with business tools that will enable them to run their businesses better and to grow their businesses. Micro, Small and Medium businesses are the backbone of African economies and therefore empowering them to succeed creates an even larger impact for their communities due to their outsized economic contribution,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Managing Director, M-PESA Africa.
“Digitisation can significantly enhance financial inclusion, most particularly for unserved and underserved enterprises such as MSMEs. Creating an enabling environment for these important economically active businesses that helps them thrive and participate actively in the continent’s economies is essential for sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” says Gerald Maithya, Managing Director, Africa Transformation Office, Microsoft.
In emerging economies, SMEs account for 40 per cent of GDP, and generate at least 90 per cent of new jobs. However, research indicates that up to 80 per cent of African SMEs fail within the first five years, despite having the highest entrepreneurship rate in the world. Access to business enablement tools, access to finance, and digital skills, are some of the key potential stumbling blocks for SMEs.