by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – GOOGLE’S philanthropic arm is committing R15,3 million (about US1 million) in charitable funding to support programmes helping women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
Google.org has made the commitment as part of a series of new initiatives aimed at supporting women-owned companies.
Mojolaoluwa Aderemi Makinde, Head Brand and Reputation, Africa – Google, cited research showing that 58 percent of small and medium-sized business (SMB) entrepreneurs in Africa are women.
Despite this, women-run businesses show, on average, 34 percent lower profits than those run by their male counterparts.
They are also less likely to receive funding and investment.
“This is why we are announcing a series of initiatives today, aimed at providing the support women need to grow their businesses,” Makinde said.
In addition to the funding announcement, Google has also announced #LookMeUp, a campaign to showcase women entrepreneurs and tell their stories.
“Google is also providing free tools to support women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and has launched an intensive program to drive the discovery of women-owned businesses through Google Business Profiles,” Makinde said.
These tools include Google Business Profile, which helps businesses create a free webpage to make them easier to find online, and Primer, an app-based skills building platform which allows business owners to access a series of free, custom designed, bite-sized lessons on the go.
Google has also dedicated the March cohort of the Hustle Academy to women-owned SMBs.
This is to help women business owners to develop their skills.
The Hustle Academy, launched in February, is a free, week-long bootcamp designed to help SMBs build expertise and expand their businesses.
– CAJ News