Google has announced a $1 million grant for African women entrepreneurs to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) and help grow their businesses.
Head Brand and Reputation, Africa – Google, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, who made the announcement, said: “Research shows 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.”
In addition to the funding announcement, Google also launched #LookMeUp, a campaign to showcase women entrepreneurs and tell their stories.
According to Makinde: “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, 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.
“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.
“To help women business owners to develop their skills, Google has also dedicated the March cohort of the Hustle Academy to women-owned SMBs. The Hustle Academy, launched last month, is a free, week-long bootcamp designed to help SMBs build the expertise they need to expand their businesses,” Makinde explained.