Last week, Microsoft hosted its East Africa Fellowship Boot Camp, bringing together 20 entrepreneurs from across Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The Fellowship is part of Microsoft's Windows Insider Program, under its Windows #Insiders4Good initiative, as it seeks to expand its scope beyond just testing and offering feedback on new versions of Windows 10.
Like the Nigeria Fellowship that it launched last year, the East Africa Fellowship is supporting a group of people who have innovative ideas to develop new businesses, aimed at solving 'real world' problems that they have identified in their communities, and beyond.
Many of the Fellows have had little or no experience in starting up businesses, and lack the resources to realize their visions and bring their products and services to market. Microsoft is helping them to do so, by guiding them through the process of clearly identifying the customers they wish to serve, and better defining the problems they hope to solve. Additionally, the company is providing them with technical support, including hardware and software - from notebooks and IoT components, to Office and Azure cloud resources - to help them bring their business ideas to life.
The Fellowship program aims to have a positive impact not just on Africa, but also across Microsoft itself. Indeed, Windows Insider Program chief Dona Sarkar said last week that Microsoft is already "fundamentally changing the way we develop Windows after spending a few months in Nigeria" as part of its Fellowship program there.
In the video below, you can check out some of the new Fellows and their businesses that Microsoft is supporting on the East Africa Fellowship program, in the words of the Fellows themselves:
You can find out more about each of the Fellows and their business ideas by visiting the East Africa Fellowship website here.