The early months and years of getting a new business up and running are very challenging. Successfully launching a business is much more easily said than done and very often requires a host of factors working for, not against, the company.

Well, here at Microsoft we’re trying to be one of those factors working for new businesses. One way we’re doing that is through a global programme called BizSpark that provides software, support and visibility for software startups.

A technology startup most needs access to software in its early stages of development, but unfortunately and ironically, this is also when the startup can least afford software. That’s why we supply BizSpark participants with easy and fast access to the current, full-featured tools and platforms they need to design, develop, test and demonstrate their software applications.

Another critical need technology startups have is support, be it technical or professional, and for this reason we make business and technical training readily and affordably available to BizSpark participants. We also provide access to a global family of more than 2,000 BizSpark Network Partners who can serve as mentors and offer an array of support resources.

Finally, BizSpark hits on one other key need nearly all technology startups have – visibility. We help to get our participants’ businesses known every way we can; and that includes exposing them to partners, potential investors, customers and journalists and featuring select startups as our “BizSpark Startup of the Day” on the BizSpark website.

Wondering if your business qualifies to participate in BizSpark? Well, if your business develops software, is privately held, is less than three years old and makes less than US $1 million annually, then BizSpark could be just one more factor working for the success of your company. There’s no cost to enrol in BizSpark, and startups can enroll at any time. To learn more about BizSpark, how it’s benefiting a host of other startups and how it can also help your business, visit www.microsoft.com/bizspark.​