Women conducting business in a market/ smefinanceforum.org
NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 7- Google has announced that its philanthropic arm, Google.org, has committed $1 million in charitable funding to support programs helping women entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
The funding comes as part of a series of new initiatives aimed at supporting women-owned businesses across the continent.
A research by the firm reveals that women account for 58 percent of small and medium-sized business entrepreneurs in Africa.
“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,” Head Brand and Reputation, Africa – Google Mojolaoluwa Aderemi Makinde said.
In addition to the funding, Google is also set the launch #LookMeUp, a campaign aimed at showcasing women entrepreneurs by providing a platform where they can tell stories of their entrepreneurial journeys.
These stories feature women like Vivian Nwakah in Nigeria, who launched Medsaf, a pharma supply chain solution to help Nigerians get access to quality pharmaceutical health care services.
Others are Mary Mwange, CEO and founder of Data Integrated who is driving innovation in the mobile payments sector in Nairobi, Kenya, and Mosa Mkhize in South Africa, who launched Origins Publishers to provide her children – and others like them – with books in their home languages.
“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 says.
Google Business Profile will help businesses create a free webpage to make them easier to find online.
Other tools the global search engine will provide include 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.
To help women business owners to develop their skills, Google has also dedicated the March cohort of the Hustle Academy to women-owned small and medium businesses.
The Hustle Academy, launched last month, is a free, week-long Bootcamp designed to help small and medium businesses build the expertise they need to expand their operations.