Microsoft to promote entrepreneurship in emerging markets - CNBC Africa

Microsoft to promote entrepreneurship in emerging markets


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Two young men working with laptop.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity. This part of the world has tremendous potential and promise, which has already been realised in some places,” Orlando Ayala, chairman of Microsoft Emerging Markets told CNBC Africa at the World Economic Forum in China on Thursday.

The giant technology provider has stated that their competitive strategy when it comes to emerging markets is one that consists of three important aspects- up skilling people, creating affordable access to technologies and innovation.

“Innovation is at the core as it creates many opportunities, especially for the youth,” said Ayala.

Evidence of the group’s emerging market’s strategy, he pointed out, is in their recent companywide YouthSpark initiative which is designed to empower youth from all over the world by connecting them with greater education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

“The Youth Spark initiative is very important for Africa because the African continent is full of young, vibrant people,” added Ayala.

Another driver of Microsoft’s emerging markets plan is their recent acquisition of mobile phone giant, Nokia’s, smartphone business, worth 7 billion US dollars.

According to reports, Nokia remains one of the largest brands in emerging markets, due to its affordability and quality features such as long battery life.

“Historically, Nokia has been quite strong in emerging markets and will continue to be an important presence in emerging markets so for Microsoft the acquisition made a lot of sense,” explained Ayala.

He added that the deal will give Microsoft the operational and development capabilities to tap into emerging markets.

The group also believes that the mobile revolution is on the rise and that they will be able to incorporate their technologies into Nokia smart phone to ensure that every day users can enjoy a seamless experience no matter which Nokia device they use.

This in turn could turn everyday users of their devices into entrepreneurs.

“People think that the mobile revolution is over but it’s just starting and the convergence of mobile with big data, cloud computing and user interface will provide the biggest opportunity for entrepreneurship that the world has ever seen,” concluded Ayala.

“In places like Africa, it could potentially leap frog many other economies.”