Microsoft South Africa has launched a nationwide search for small black-owned software product development firms to join its enterprise development program.
The company kicked off a public Request for Proposal (RFP) process for new firms looking to become part of its multi-million rand Equity Equivalent Program (EEP).
This program which has already seen five small companies – two of which are female-owned – grow dramatically since the launch of the programme in March 2011. Entries close on 11 October 2013.
The focus areas for the RFP will be in the education, healthcare, consumer, safety and security, mobility, cloud computing, big data and social business sectors.
Microsoft SA managing director Mteto Nyati believes technology can make a clear difference to current levels of service delivery in these sectors.
Nyati said the programme is not aimed at providing start-up capital, but rather at turbo-charging the growth of existing companies that have potential.
In the process, it will address several of the key challenges facing the country: creating jobs, developing small enterprises, building the local software economy and developing scarce technology skills.
“We’re more than two years into the programme, and our current five companies have already made huge strides in developing new business models, creating jobs, and reaching out to new markets,” said Nyati.
“Our investment to date has focused on fuelling innovation in high-growth areas that are currently underserved, including safety and security, healthcare, consumer, mobility and cloud computing.”
The RFP is open to small, black-owned software companies across South Africa with a maximum of 50 employees and a maximum turnover of R15 million a year.