Microsoft announce evolved Equity Equivalent Investment Programme to drive digital transformation and create economic empowerment in South Africa.
Seven years on after launching the Microsoft Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP), the company evolves the programme. Microsoft announced the EEIP in 2011 where they committed 7 years to support black owned Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) helping them develop and expand.
The evolved Microsoft EEIP will now focus on investments in technology solutions in agriculture and digital transformation in the manufacturing sectors. It will also include funding of skills development of South Africa’s young software developers. Through multiple AppFactories hosted by strategic partners across the country.
According to Microsoft South Africa managing director, Lillian Barnard “these are two areas where government’s priority and Microsoft’s focus overlap. We are evolving the program to meet South Africa’s shifting social economic needs. As well as take advantage of the economic opportunities presented by public cloud and Microsoft datacenters (cloud services) now available in South Africa“.
As part of the Trade Ministry’s requirements for any multi national company operating in South Africa. Microsoft had to make a contribution towards the objectives of South Africa’s Trade and Industry Ministry Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) initiative. In 2011 Microsoft launched the Microsoft Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP) as a means of supporting South Africa’s transformation imperatives. It was established to address the ownership element of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act and approved by the Department of Trade and Industry.
Microsoft’s Equity Equivalent Programme injects direct funding and business development assistance into several sustainable, independent and majority black-owned software companies in South Africa. The programme targets investments that promote socio-economic advancement and development within the South African economy.
Home Grown – Microsoft Equity Equivalent Investment Programme recipient.
It has made a massive difference to our capabilities as a busines.
Our status as a Microsoft Equity Equivalent Programme partner gives us a great deal of credibility.
One such early beneficiary of the Microsoft Equity Equivalent Programme is Home Grown. Home Grown is a utility management service provider that focuses on developing solutions for the mobile cellular industry with a focus on the energy sector.
The smart utility management platform uses Microsoft’s cloud technology Azure to forecast electricity demand in real time. It also incorporates external data such as weather measurement and GPS coordination to assist in more effective resource distribution and management.
Then a startup in Kwazulu Natal, Home Grown’s CEO Thaisi Shale, was looking for a way to break into the bigger South African market.
“In 2011 Microsoft confirmed that Home Grown had been formally identified as an Equity Equivalent Programme partner. Securing the business long term financial and strategic assistance from one of the globe’s largest technology pioneers.
Home Grown’s status as a Microsoft Equity Equivalent Programme partner has afforded us the opportunity to solidify our internal resources. Since the announcement we have been able to take on valuable staff in marketing, administration and development. It has made a massive difference to our capabilities as a busines.
Our status as a Microsoft Equity Equivalent Programme partner gives us a great deal of credibility. Microsoft’s input from a strategic perspective has been invaluable. We believe that with their continued assistance we can competitively introduce our solutions to a global market.” –
Thaisi Shale, CEO Home Grown
Over the 7 years Microsoft has identified and supported 8 independent software vendors. For Microsoft the evolved EEIP will drive innovation. Through access to technology solutions and digital transformation to help businesses in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors compete and be successful. Microsoft wants to create experienced and employable young software developers to take advantage of the 4th Industrial Revolution and contribute towards the economic growth of South Africa.