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Microsoft To Empower 10m SMEs, Partners Flutterwave On Payment Innovation.

Microsoft To Empower 10m SMEs

Software giant, Microsoft, yesterday disclosed that plans were in the pipeline to empower about 10 million Small and Medium Sized Enterprises(SMEs) globally.

The president, Microsoft Africa, Lillian Barnard revealed this at a press conference in Lagos to seal a five-year strategic technology partnership with Flutterwave.

Through the new collaboration, Flutterwave will build its next generation platform on Microsoft Azure, with the goal of fast-tracking payment innovation in Africa and, in so doing, accelerating the growth of small businesses across the continent.

She said, having championed digital revolution for decades, they are poised to empower the SMEs with the right tools, infrastructure, skilling and access to finances to build thriving businesses and communities.

She said: ‘’Though, the company has been in Africa for thirty years, the first time the company is actually putting together Africa all up as a continent, we have a bold and aspiring vision for the continent and even more importantly partnership with a company like Fluterwave to help us accelerate inclusion financial and digital inclusion.”

Barnard said, the fintech companies are leading and driving financial inclusion, digital revolution and reducing reliance on cash transactions.

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“We believe greater access to technology and innovation holds the key to building thriving local businesses that will create stronger economies to enable a brighter future for all,” she said.

Also speaking, country manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Ola Williams  explained that, Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are crucial to Africa’s progress and development.

She said: “To drive sustainable growth in Nigeria, small businesses need the ability to participate more actively in the local and even global marketplace. This begins with digital financial inclusion. If we want to build a more resilient country and ultimately a more prosperous continent, we must begin by giving these businesses the digital financial services they need, not just to survive, but to thrive.

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‘’Flutterwave’s mission has been exactly that – helping businesses overcome challenges surrounding access to financial services and connecting them to the global stage. It does this by enabling multiple payment modes, including local and international cards, mobile wallets and bank transfers.’’

Commenting on the partnership, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flutterwave, Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, said: “In our journey at Flutterwave, we’ve always strived to touch lives by simplifying payments and connecting dreams to opportunities. Today, as we join hands with Microsoft, it feels like a family reunion of visionaries and go-getters.

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‘’The excitement in our team is palpable because this partnership isn’t just about transactions – it’s about transformation. We’re honoured that Microsoft believes in our vision and trusts our capability. I am proud to say we’re not just dreaming of an inclusive digital Africa; we’re creating it.”

He added that, as part of the collaboration, Flutterwave will also launch transactable solutions on Azure Marketplace, including its SMB finance-as-a-service offering, further extending its reach.

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