How Microsoft’s MySkills4Afrika is impacting small businesses in Africa

It’s no surprise that in today’s fast-paced world, effective technology tools are widely being adopted by entrepreneurs in a move to increase work productivity while cutting costs where possible. Africa is one such place where Microsoft has set out to ensure that these tools are utilised by start-ups and large organisations alike. In his recent visit to Kenya, Welly Lee, the Programme Manager at Microsoft, explains to us how Microsoft’s MySkills4Afrika Programme is improving the running of day to day activities in any business.

MySkillAfrika: What does it involve?
Welly Lee, a volunteer from Microsoft, last week conducted a comprehensive digital skills-equipping session with the GrowthAfrica team as part of Microsoft’s MySkill4Afrika Programme. This programme as explained by Welly Lee, is geared towards equipping African entrepreneurs with Microsoft tools to help them become globally competitive and turn their ideas into a reality. He was intensively involved in breaking down how one of their key tools, Microsoft Teams, works and clearly demonstrating its effectiveness in enhancing internal and external communication processes. GrowthAfrica was looking for an expert to explain the use of Microsoft tools and hopefully transfer this knowledge not only within, but also among the entrepreneurs we closely work with. Welly saw this as an opportunity to utilise his skills seeing that he was part of the team that developed the tools from the onset.

Welly trains part of the GrowthAfrica team


Why Africa?
“We chose to run this programme in Africa because this is a growing continent and Microsoft would like to be part of the growth process,” Welly stated. Microsoft, in offering support to small businesses in Africa, is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs understand the productive tools they provide. One such tool tailored for small businesses is the Outlook Customer Manager which is found on the Outlook email application. It is designed to help entrepreneurs build and grow relationships with their customers since it enables them to track all conversations and interactions. This tool saves them the trouble of transferring this data onto a different application. Welly admits however, that despite the availability of these tools to the entrepreneurs, sustainable flow of internet connection remains a challenge in Africa. He hopes that Microsoft will in future develop tools that are less dependant on the internet to curb this challenge.

Insights from the trip to Kenya
“I am impressed with the people I met here in Kenya. They are friendly, smart and have a lot of energy,” Welly stated. He further explained that there is a huge potential for knowledge exchange and development not only among the Kenyan people but with Africans in general.

How entrepreneurs can become part of the MySkillsForAfrika programme
The Microsoft tools as highlighted by Welly Lee can be accessed on Office365. Entrepreneurs can enrol into the programme through the MySkills4Afrika website allowing them access to different packages offered by Microsoft.