Microsoft has announced a strategic partnership with M-PESA Africa, a leading fintech and payments service in Africa, to drive capacity building and digitisation for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across several African markets.
The partnership aims to equip MSMEs with the necessary skills to develop stronger business models, manage their finances, and offer exceptional customer service. Microsoft will provide access to its Community and Training platform where M-PESA Africa will digitise skilling.
M-PESA connects 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’s skilling programs available through M-PESA business solutions will empower MSMEs to manage their finances more effectively, including building skills such as basic accounting, financial planning, and cash flow management. The programs will also help MSMEs develop the entrepreneurial skills they need to start and grow a successful business.
Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Managing Director of M-PESA Africa, expressed excitement about the partnership with Microsoft to upskill entrepreneurs and provide them with business tools that will enable them to run their businesses better.
“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.
Gerald Maithya, Managing Director of the Africa Transformation Office at Microsoft, highlighted that digitisation can significantly enhance financial inclusion for unserved and underserved enterprises such as MSMEs.
“Creating an enabling environment for these important economically active businesses that help 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% of GDP and generate at least 90% of new jobs. However, up to 80% of African SMEs fail within the first five years.
Access to business enablement tools, access to finance, and digital skills are some of the key potential stumbling blocks for SMEs. This partnership aims to address these challenges and support the growth of MSMEs in Africa.