According to the IFC, small business ownership in South Africa reflects patterns of racial and gender-based inequality in the broader South African society, and as the size of businesses grows, the rates of black and female ownership decline. At AWS, we believe that building diverse teams allows us to innovate better for our customers. To work toward this, in 2019, AWS South Africa launched the AWS Equity Equivalent Investment Program (AWS EEIP), as part of its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) program. The AWS EEIP is a Partner development and acceleration program for 100% black owned small IT businesses in South Africa. Applications for the 2021 intake are now open.