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Google unpacks plans for South African startups, SMEs and non-profits in 2022

Earlier today, Google for Africa held a virtual event to provide an update regarding the company’s plans for local startups, SMEs and non-profits, specifically highlighting what it will be doing in the coming year from an investment perspective.

As you may know, Google announced that it would be investing $1 billion into African projects over the next five years, with some money already allocated.

Naturally then, enterprises operating on the African continent and in need of support are eager to hear what 2022 holds.

“The focus of these investments is on enabling fast, affordable internet access for more Africans; building helpful products; supporting entrepreneurship and small business; and helping nonprofits to improve lives across Africa,” noted Google in a press release sent to Hypertext.

The first sector that was unpacked was non-profits, with two local organisations mentioned.

“Nonprofits are deeply impacted by the pandemic and the work done by these organisations to serve communities has been vital in helping South Africans over the past two years. That’s why Google.org is awarding $500k in grant funding and training to Gift of the Givers and Food for Life South Africa to support them in their economic recovery.”

Next was startups, with the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund in Africa Program selecting 50 Black-led technology startups to join the program.

“The startups will receive $50 million in funding to help spur their growth as part of a broader Africa Investment Fund plan launched last year. Carry1st in South Africa is one such startup that has already received equity investments,” the company confirms.

“Google is part of a group of investors in the business, one of Africa’s leading mobile games publishers. Carry1st will use the additional capital to expand its content portfolio; grow its product, engineering, and growth teams; and acquire new users,” it adds.

The final sector highlighted was SMMEs, with Minister for Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, attending the virtual event to announce a new partnership between Google and her department.

“In partnership with the Department of Small Business Development, Google wants to provide support, training and resources to these small enterprises through the newly launched ‘Hustle Academy’, a sub-Saharan African initiative aimed at supporting SMMEs and helping their businesses thrive.”

“Digital markets and digital transformation are important enablers for the Department of Small Business Development’s vision to ensure a transformed and inclusive economy, driven by sustainable, innovative small, medium, and micro enterprises and cooperatives,” she enthused.

“The initiatives discussed today at Google for South Africa are strongly aligned to this vision,” the minister concluded.

With many of the announcements today being SA-focused, it will be interesting to see what other regions in Africa will receive in the coming months and years.

[Image – Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash]

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