This will help SMEs not only take advantage of the latest software and programs offered by Microsoft, such as Office 365 and BizSpark, but also equip them to use the software to enhance their business through website development, collaboration and other activities.
The signing took place on February 25th 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh in the presence of Dr. Abdul Aziz Almutairi, the General Manager of The Centennial Fund, Eng. Samir Noman, President of Microsoft Arabia, and Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International.
Commenting, Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Mutairi stated: “The youth are the future of our nation and their projects at both the individual and collective levels are the fuel that drives the nation forward to be among leading countries in all fields. The youth are the core of our attention in The Centennial Fund, which was established in order to support them and their small business enterprises, whether through guidance, moral support or funding to facilitate certain actions and transactions.”
The fund is keen to capitalize on promoting IT enablement within start-ups to expedite their go-to-market capability, as well as promote IT entrepreneurship within its members.
Speaking at the signing, Samir Noman said: “We applaud the vision of The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, to diversify the economy and promote entrepreneurship and congratulate The Centennial Fund for benefitting as many as 9,000 young Saudi men and women, and also for receiving recognition from the Clinton Global Initiative for its efforts to promote SMEs.”
Mr. Noman went on to say: “Microsoft understands the challenges facing entrepreneurs and is committed to working with The Centennial Fund on promoting IT solutions that address these challenges. At Microsoft we are aligning closely with the priorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through strategic partnerships with key organizations and institutions, in order to nurture a knowledge-based growth economy with a sustainable model of development.”
Speaking at the joint event, Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International, said: “Young entrepreneurs will drive future economic growth for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so giving young people the chance to fulfil their professional ambitions is a shared priority for Microsoft and The Centennial Fund. This significant announcement demonstrates Microsoft’s continued commitment to helping unlock the tremendous potential of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s youth through ongoing investment and the provision of powerful IT services.”
Microsoft is investing in Saudi Arabia to provide scalable, flexible and cost-effective IT solutions, and is committed to providing entrepreneurs with the latest IT innovations. To deliver on this promise, Microsoft has launched its public cloud service, Office 365, in Saudi Arabia. A start-up business can now benefit from an enterprise-class IT infrastructure and the latest versions of software applications without the traditional financial hurdles, which helps entrepreneurs channel their limited resources to the most valuable business areas.