(Cross-posted from the Microsoft FutureFed blog)
Posted by Teresa Carlson
Vice President, Microsoft Federal;
Last week I wrote about Microsoft’s participation in the Digital Adoption Coalition which, led by One Economy and Connected Nation, brings together internet service providers, technology companies, and nonprofit organizations to supply broadband internet service and affordable computers to traditionally underserved populations. Today, we are excited to announce a similar initiative, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the FCC, SBA, several industry partners, and SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping accelerate small business growth. The SCORE managed PPP, like the Digital Adoption Coalition, also recognizes the transformational role that broadband can play in shaping both the economy and society at large.
Today, at the Reagan Building in Washington, DC, we joined FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski; SBA Administrator Karen Mills; SCORE CEO Ken Yancey; Emily McHugh, owner of the online retail store Casauri; and Yamile Jackson, owner of the children’s online wholesaler Zakeez, for the announcement of this unique PPP established to support the mission of empowering small businesses as they move to embrace digital technologies and e-commerce locally, nationally, and globally.
Microsoft’s participation includes a contribution of $200,000 in cash for a period of two years, a $1 million software contribution, and providing the PPP access to our unparalleled ecosystem of over 300,000 partners, including 6,500 small business specialists, across the United States. These specialists are focused on helping small business customers drive innovation, save money, increase profitability and deliver innovative solutions. Through the PPP, SCORE will have access to Microsoft applications such as SharePoint, Dynamics CRM, BizTalk, OCS, and Office – giving it the ability to renovate its online resources to better support American small businesses and achieve the objectives of the FCC/SBA’s PPP.
As broadband internet access spreads to every corner of our nation, we understand that the work has only just begun. Broadband access alone will not transform, much less sustain small business in the long term. I encourage my industry colleagues to commit time to skills training efforts to ensure that the next generation of workers can understand and exploit broadband technologies for their worth.