Microsoft and Accenture are teaming up to help deepen the reach of entrepreneurs and start-ups that are focused on social impact and sustainability. The joint initiative will provide hands-on support and technologies to social enterprises, helping them to build scalable solutions and business models that can lead to more tangible and lasting benefits for a greater number of people around the world. Through the programme, Microsoft Research India and Accenture Labs will help social enterprise start-ups test and validate proofs of concept; conduct design thinking sessions to help them re-envision the impact of their solutions; and provide support in exploring and using Microsoft technologies. With a particular focus on the areas of agriculture, education and healthcare, the programme will initially engage with start-ups in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, leveraging the MSR India Center for Societal impact through Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (SCAI).
Initiatives such as these, highlight the power of bringing together expertise held within business and the primary goal of social impact with social enterprises. In the case of this joint initiative, Accenture and Microsoft are using their skills and assets in technology and business, to support organisations that are set up to create and reinvest in positive social change. In doing so, the collaboration exemplifies the shift in community investment towards activities that align with the core business strategy and leverage existing expertise. This is precisely the movement being seen within Corporate Citizenship’s own LBG Network of companies across the globe managing corporate community investment. The recent extension to the LBG measurement framework provides further room to understand and record business innovations for social impact and collaboration with social enterprises.