- 5,000 small and medium business owners from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa have graduated from the Google Hustle Academy program.
- Launched in February as part of the company’s Google for Africa initiative, the program aims to upskill entrepreneurs through marketing training and mentoring.
- Startups also received information on how to successfully apply for funding, with one startup claiming success thanks to Hustle Academy.
Africa has been a valuable continent for Google’s growth strategy.
In 2021, the tech giant hosted its first Google for Africa event. Here, it announced plans to invest $1 billion in African countries over five years “to support a range of initiatives, from improved connectivity to investment in startups, to help drive Africa’s digital transformation.”
This year, Google chose South Africa to host its Google Cloud region on the continent. The company estimates that the region will contribute more than $2.1 billion to South Africa’s GDP and create more than 40,000 jobs by 2023.
Plans to support African startups are also in the spotlight. In February 2022, it launched the Google Hustle Academy program to improve the skills of entrepreneurs in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
On Tuesday, Google announced that 5,000 small and medium business (SME) owners have successfully graduated from the program. Graduation ceremonies were held in all three countries to mark the occasion.
Almost 10,000 people applied for participation in the program.
Hustle Academy saw these entrepreneurs engage in hands-on entrepreneurial training through peer- and mentor-led learning. The curriculum also included training on digital marketing tactics and effective financial planning.
Students from 23 groups first attended a five-day virtual bootcamp where they learned how to define their business strategies, increase sales and how to successfully pitch for investor funding.
Business owners also received one-on-one mentoring sessions to iron out any specific issues they encountered with their business plans. A network of mentors and coaches was also on standby for students to tap into and get practical advice.
“Our graduates are working hard to grow their businesses, and in addition to this kind of hands-on training impacting these 5,000 SMEs, it has a ripple effect helping many more people succeed,” said Alistair Mokoena, Google South Country Director. Africa.
“Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the global economy and account for about 80 percent of jobs in Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are approximately 44 million micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that act as important drivers of economic growth.
At the launch event, Google also announced the launch of a new speaker series where already successful African entrepreneurs share lessons and advice. The company believes that this series will enable African SMEs and their owners to gain new insights and strategies to address related challenges that they may face on a regular basis.
The Hustle Academy aims to address the high “mortality rate” faced by African startups. Lack of funding, mentoring and marketing skills are the main causes of startup failure.
Ardor Life Kenya, a startup led by Nyambura Simiyu, has reportedly been able to secure funding using the insights and tools provided by the academy.
“Hustle Academy has been very successful for us as a new business. We have been able to use Google platforms and tools to grow our business. The website has been very helpful for us in making us visible outside the country beyond the usual social media,” said Simiyu.
“The other thing was about the throw. I learned about pitching and pitching and I got funding,” they added.
[Image – Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash] [Source – The Citizen]