Microsoft mission

Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Did you know?

Most of the world is not connected to the internet. Underserved markets, rural areas and economically-disadvantaged communities are least likely to have access to the internet. With advances in the affordable access ecosystem and your solutions, 3.9 billion more people will be empowered to engage in the digital economy.

Workers assembling a satellite tower in Africa.
A man installing electronics on satellite tower.
Workers installing solar panels on an African schoolhouse.
The installed satellite tower and solar panels providing internet to an African school.

Our mission

The Microsoft Affordable Access Initiative Grant Fund seeks to support, grow and scale innovative businesses that are developing technologies and business models that have the potential to help billions more people affordably get online. Areas of interest include last mile access technologies, off-grid renewable energy solutions, and alternative payment mechanisms, as well as verticals such as finance, payments, healthcare, education, and agriculture.

In the news

December 1, 2016

Microsoft offers grants to organizations working to improve affordable internet access

Microsoft Corp. renewed its Affordable Access Initiative grant fund for a second year. The fund assists companies working to bring internet access and new technologies, services and models to underserved markets.

December 1, 2016

A new opportunity for small businesses working to expand affordable internet access

Unfortunately, 3.9 billion people worldwide, often in economically disadvantaged, rural and other underserved communities, lack internet connectivity. That’s why Microsoft created the Affordable Access Initiative, a holistic, partnership-based program that invests in new last-mile access technologies, cloud-based services and business models to reduce the cost of Internet access and help more people affordably get online.

November 17, 2016

Microsoft announces partnership to scale off-grid energy in Africa

During the 22nd session of the U.N. Climate conference (COP 22) in Marrakesh, Morocco, Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Scaling Off-Grid Energy: Grand Challenge for Development to empower entrepreneurs to expand off-grid solar energy access in sub-Saharan Africa.

October 12, 2016

How closing the digital divide is saving lives in Botswana

In an increasingly globalized world, an internet connection has become an indispensable means of accessing knowledge and opportunity. Unfortunately, reliable and affordable internet access has yet to reach about half the planet’s population, meaning 4.2 billion people cannot read this blog post or any other online content. Poor internet connectivity also limits access to modern opportunities in education, commerce and healthcare.

May 24, 2016

Microsoft provides grants to accelerate the delivery of affordable Internet access

Twelve businesses from 11 countries receive funding and resources to tackle the connectivity gap in communities around the world.

May 24, 2016

Building global connectivity, one community at a time

Through its Affordable Access Initiative, Microsoft is taking to help bridge the digital divide and bring affordable Internet access to underserved markets around the world.

May 24, 2016

Microsoft Affordable Access Initiative explained

Microsoft is empowering people to do more through Affordable Access Initiative partnerships with local entrepreneurs and innovators worldwide.

May 24, 2016

Upending conventional wisdom with bottom-up innovation

Over half the world’s population can’t access the opportunities affordable Internet empowers. Paul Garnett, director of Affordable Access Initiatives, shares what Microsoft is doing to help close this digital divide.

December 17, 2015

Microsoft’s affordable access initiatives—partnering for impact

Microsoft has long supported communities and entrepreneurs developing low-cost Internet solutions. Paul Garnett, director of Affordable Access Initiatives, shares how these partnerships and new grant funding help close the global digital divide.

November 23, 2015

Going the last mile: Read about The power of affordable Internet access

Microsoft, USAID, and the Filipino government partnered to provide innovative and affordable Internet access. Peggy Johnson, Microsoft executive vice president of global business development, shares how this initiative and the launch of a new fund increase digital inclusion.

November 15, 2015

Microsoft launches fund to improve access to affordable Internet in underserved markets

Access and empowerment work hand-in-hand—that’s why Microsoft is launching a grant fund as part of the Affordable Access Initiative.

Thank you for your interest

Our grant fund application window is now closed.
Check back soon and follow us on @AAIGrantFund for updates.

Image of African PC users around fire by Greg Von Doersten