Microsoft 4Afrika Launches Women-Only Cloud Startup Academy in Morocco


Microsoft 4Afrika, the Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Morocco (AFEM), and INWI today officially launched the Cloud Startup Academy in Morocco to help young Moroccan women especially recent graduates or job seekers launch innovative startups, based on the latest Cloud technology.

The academy will admit 50 Moroccan women to a six-month programme, where they will receive accelerated training on the Cloud and new information and communication technology (NICT). The programme will also strengthen skills related to communication, technology, entrepreneurship, marketing and even startup management.

This skills will help the 50 women launch cloud solutions startups to target SMEs/SMIs and offer them Microsoft Cloud and INWI Telecom POS solutions , to assist in their digital transformation.

“Today, we are proud to announce the launch of The Cloud Startup Academy for Moroccan SMEs: a project that aims to foster entrepreneurship and create jobs by unlocking the power of Cloud Computing. In an increasingly interconnected world, this is the kind of high-impact approach whose ripple effects will be felt across the entire ecosystem,” said Mr Ali Faramawy, Microsoft Vice President, Middle East & Africa.

Throughout their training, the young women will  also have access to numerous devices, thanks to the partners involved in the project. AFEM will share its expertise in female entrepreneurship in Morocco; Microsoft will offer a dedicated workspace at Technopark, Accent Windows 8 tablets, and a “Devices & Services” certification; INWI will provide connectivity equipment and assist in training around telecommunications solutions; and Microchoix will assist with its large SME network.  In addition, all partners will fund scholarships for successful candidates.

Commenting on the launch of the Cloud Startup Academy, Laila Myara, President of AFEM, said: “Because of its expertise in initiatives related to improving employability in Morocco, Microsoft is the ideal partner to promote entrepreneurship in Moroccan women. This programme aims to help all Moroccan women who wish to succeed using new Cloud technology .”

The launch of the Cloud Startup Academy forms  part of the broader Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative which was launched in February 2013 to equip young Africans with tens of millions of intelligent devices, put one million African SMEs online, improve the skills of 100 000 young people in the active population, support 100 000 graduates in skills development, and help place 75% of these graduates in jobs by 2016.

“As part of the initiative, and  Microsoft’s Devices & Services strategy, the Cloud  Startup Academy will help  boost the productivity and competitiveness of women entrepreneurs  in Morocco, hence accelerating the region’s economic growth,” said Fernando de Sousa, General Manager of Microsoft 4Afrika.