Frequently Asked Questions

How? What? When? Where? Why?

Let's get all those questions answered

What is Insiders4Good?

We know our Insiders are a group of talented individuals with passion and energy to make the world a better place. Insiders4Good initiative is intended to empower each of you to direct your passion on things that are valuable to diverse communities. Building an enterprise that creates employment AND effects social good, hosting events to teach people computer science or other critical skills, making art that positively changes people’s lives – all of this is made possible under Insiders4Good.

How do I become an Insider or get Insider builds?

If you're not running a Preview Build on your PC with Windows 10 installed or to get the latest Insider Preview Build, follow the instructions detailed here.

How do I apply for becoming a fellow in my region?

We currently run fellowships in a handful of regions including Nigeria and soon in East Africa. Sign up to be an Insider and we will contact you when we bring the fellowship to your region.

I have an idea for this program. Whom do I contact about it?

Awesome and THANK YOU! Please send your idea in an email with the subject “Idea for Insiders4Good” to insiders@microsoft.com.

#Insiders4Good East Africa Fellowship FAQ

Let's get all those questions answered

Can I still apply for the #Insiders4Good East Africa Fellowship?

Thank you for your interest in the Insiders4Good East Africa Fellowship. The application period is now closed. We will evaluate the applications and announce our next cohort of fellows in June. Become a Windows Insider today to keep up to date on the fellowship news and for other future opportunities.

What is the #Insiders4Good East Africa Fellowship?

The #Insiders4Good East Africa Fellowship is part of our global #Insiders4Good program, which organizes networks of Windows Insiders and supports their work tackling important social and economic issues in their local communities. With the #Insiders4Good East Africa Fellowship, we are establishing a fellowship of up to 25 East African entrepreneurs who are developing products and services that have the strong potential to improve the lives of their fellow East Africans.

What type of products and services qualify?

We are open to just about any product or service that can effectively address an important social or economic issue confronting East African communities. For example, important issues include sanitation, education, clean water, health, energy, homelessness, public safety, , and much more. If you can make a compelling case for how your product or service can help people overcome an important social or economic challenge, we want to hear from you.

Can I enter my existing product or service that is already on the market?

Yes, we welcome your participation. The Fellowship program is designed to help early-stage entrepreneurs not only launch their ideas, but also to help them solve market challenges (such as market penetration or expansion), improve service models, or test an improved product prototype.

Is it free to participate and submit an application?

Yes. There are no fees to participate, and all you need to do is submit your online application before the deadline.

My idea/product is not a 'tech' idea, can I still apply?

Yes. The Fellowship is open to all businesses and/or business ideas that are seeking to create lasting solutions to problems that face communities in East Africa. It is not a requirement that applicants build a technology-centric business or idea.

What are the benefits of a Fellowship? Is there any prize money to be won?

No, there is no direct monetary award for those selected to be part of the Fellowship Program. However, to help take their product or service to the next level, the program will award Fellows with Microsoft hardware and software, including Windows 10, Office 365 and Azure credits, and more. Fellows will also receive six months of technical and strategic mentorship from Microsoft staff and local and international experts. The Fellowship will be kicked off by a one-week long “bootcamp” in Nairobi, with travel expenses provided by Microsoft. There, Fellows will work together with Microsoft staff to share ideas and develop their plans for achieving their goals over the following six months, a hackathon will also take place to help refine or build prototypes. Throughout the Fellowship, we will learn more about the specific needs of the Fellows and their solutions in order to tailor a program of support that will most benefit them.

How are Fellowships awarded?

We are awarding up to 25 Fellowships based on a single round of review of online applications and personal interviews. The selection panel will be composed of Microsoft-selected local and global experts. For more information about the selection criteria, visit the question below, “How do you judge applications for Fellowships?”.

Who is eligible to apply for a Fellowship?

To be eligible to apply for an #Insiders4Good East Africa Fellowship, you must be a legal resident of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, or Uganda, (age 18 or over) and registered in the Windows Insider Program. Government employees, employees of Microsoft Corporation, employees of Microsoft subsidiaries, and their immediate family members are not eligible. Products and services that have previously won awards from competitions are not eligible. Other eligibility conditions apply. See the #Insiders4Good Fellowship’s complete Program Terms for details.

How and when do I apply for a Fellowship?

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can complete an application online here. Here are the program’s important dates:

  • Application Opens: February 2, 2017
  • Application Closes: March 31, 2017
  • Fellows Announced (on this site): June
  • Fellowship Bootcamp: June 12, 2017
  • Mentorship Program: June 12 – December 11, 2017

How do you judge applications for Fellowships?

A panel of Microsoft-selected local and global experts will select up to 25 #Insiders4Good Fellows based on the following criteria:

  • Social Impact: Your product or service addresses a common issue affecting a clearly identified segment of the East African population and provides a clear benefit to the customers upon purchase and use of the product or service.
  • Market Viability: The product or service has a clearly defined market and can be priced as such that it can be viable and sustainable as a business given the local context.
  • Innovation: The product or service provides a unique approach to the issues faced by the local market through a net new innovation; an improvement on existing solutions; or a combination of multiple solutions for more effective and efficient intervention.
  • Scalability: The business has the potential to serve customers across the geographic region where the entrepreneur is based, or across all of East Africa.

How will I know if I have been selected by the judges?

We will contact all applicants, either via the email address or phone number on your application in the weeks leading up to the Fellowship Bootcamp.

Are there any requirements if I am selected as a Fellow?

Yes. If selected as an #Insiders4Good Fellow, you’ll need to:

  • Attend a week-long Fellowship training “boot camp” in Nairobi;
  • Commit to a six-month mentorship program, which will entail weekly mentorship sessions.

The intent of the week-long training and six-month mentorship is to work together and exchange feedback with the other Fellows and Microsoft staff as you prepare your product or service for market or scaling up. After the end of the Fellowship mentorship period, we will reach out to our Fellows periodically to learn about their progress. We are invested in the success of our Fellows and seek to tailor their experience of the program to their needs.

Additionally, by accepting a Fellowship, you agree to abide by the full rules outlined in the #Insiders4Good Fellowship Program Terms.

What happens after the 6-month mentorship program if I am selected as a fellow?

The hardware and software are yours to keep. Inclusive of a 1 week bootcamp in June, your mentorship will last for 6 months, ending on December 11, 2017. After this period, we encourage you to stay connected with us through the Windows Insider Program and #Insiders4Good events and programs.

Will the Fellowship help with financing, manufacturing, or marketing my product or service?

No, but our mentors have extensive experience to provide guidance as you engage in these efforts and move through the stages of bringing your product or service to market.

Can I apply as an individual or do I need to belong to a formally organized entity?

You can apply as an individual, having a formal entity is optional.

Do I have to be a founder of my organization to apply?

We recommend that the founder or CEO be involved in the application process and is the one selected as the Fellow to receive the award and benefits.

Do I have to have “customers”? What if my organization is a non-profit?

Your social impact product or service should and must have end users, how they “purchase” or obtain your product or service can be a part of your unique business model.

Am I eligible if my organization is an NGO funded by a government entity?


Do you have any tips for submitting a successful application?

Please answer all application questions as thoroughly as possible. The application must be completed in full, as all responses are needed to help us understand the viability of your business idea and your strength as an entrepreneur. While the application should make clear how your product or service functions, it’s equally important to clearly articulate how you are thinking about the problem your idea is designed to solve, your target market, and your vision for growth.

What if I am not selected to be part of the fellowship?

If you are not selected to be part of the program, we encourage you to stay connected to the Windows Insider community, a global community of people using technology to make a lasting impact on the world. We have ongoing series of opportunities that could benefit our Insider community.