5000 African entrepreneurs graduate from Google academy

  • 5 000 small and medium business owners from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa have graduated from Google’s Hustle Academy programme.
  • Launched in February as part of the company’s Google For Africa initiative, the programme seeks to upskill entrepreneurs through marketing training and mentorship.
  • Startups also received information on how to successfully pitch for funding, with one startup claiming that they found success thanks to the Hustle Academy.

Africa has been a prized continent for the Google growth strategy.

In 2021, the tech giant held its first Google for Africa event. Here it announced plans to invest $1 billion in African countries over a five-year period “to support a range of initiatives from improved connectivity to investment in startups to help boost 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 will create more than 40 000 jobs by 2023.

Plans to support African startups have also been a focus. In February 2022, it launched the Google Hustle Academy programme to upskill entrepreneurs in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

On Tuesday, Google announced that 5 000 small and medium business (SMB) owners have successfully graduated from the programme. Graduation ceremonies were held in the three nations to celebrate the occasion.

Nearly 10 000 people applied to take part in the programme.

The Hustle Academy saw these entrepreneurs engage in practical business training through peer-to-peer and mentor-driven learning. The curriculum also included training on digital marketing tactics and effective financial planning.

Students within 23 cohorts 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 in order to smooth out any particular and specific problems they were encountering in their business plans. A network of mentors and coaches was also on standby for students to leverage and gain practical advice.

“Our graduates are working hard to grow their businesses, and in addition to having an impact in these 5000 SMBs, this kind of practical training also has a ripple effect, helping many more people succeed,” said Alistair Mokoena, country director for Google South Africa.

“Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the backbone of the global economy, and in Africa, they account for an estimated 80 percent of jobs. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are an estimated 44 million micro, small and medium enterprises, which function as important drivers of economic growth.

At the graduation events, Google also announced the launch of a new speaker series in which already-successful African entrepreneurs share lessons and advice. The company believes this series will allow African SMBs and their owners to glean new insights and strategies to deal with relatable issues they may face on a regular basis.

The Hustle Academy is aimed at addressing the high “death rate” that African startups are facing. Lack of funding, mentorship and marketing skills are the leading cause of startup failures.

Startup Ardor Life Kenya, led by Nyambura Simiyu, has reportedly been able to secure funding through the insights and tools provided by the academy.

“The Hustle Academy has come in very well for us as a new business. We have been able to get ourselves on Google platforms and tools to grow our business. The website came in very handy for us to make us visible outside the country away from the usual social media,” said Simiyu.

“The other thing was about pitching. I learned about pitching and pitched and I got funding,” they added.

[Image – Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash] [Source – The Citizen]


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