Google plans to introduce a series of programme this month to scale up small and medium enterprises (SME) in Africa's post-COVID-19 economy. The pandemic has hurt SME's as small African businesses reduced their operation or shut down. This has led to the loss of hundreds of job.
The tech giant will roll out three key programmes this month to reduce the impact of the pandemic on business owners. The new programmes include:
- A new Google for Small Business portal to help small businesses find the solutions and guidance they need to establish an online presence and grow.
- A series of SME skills webinars tailored to help entrepreneurs use digital tools to connect with and grow their customer base. SMEs can register for free webinars to be held on 9, 16 and 23 June.
- Shop Small Fridays – a social media video series that sheds light on SMEs across Africa.
SME's are very popular in this part of the world. Google said that SMEs account for around 90% of all business and 80% of the region's employment. However, the pandemic changed the narrative due to restricted business activity.
Google believes that improving digital inclusion will help these small businesses recover and thus the African economy.
According to Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Google head of brand and reputation for Africa, "As more consumers start their journey looking for products and services online, we want to do more to help small retail businesses digitise and better leverage online tools for growth. One thing we know for sure is that when small businesses recover, African economies rebound and do well, and this benefits everyone."
The move to initiate this programme comes less than a year after Google committed to helping more than 500 000 businesses, jobseekers and vulnerable people with support packages, including free business tools, training and grants.
According to Google, "these programmes are an illustration of Google's ongoing commitment to ensuring small retail businesses on the continent have the right tools and skills to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic and drive the continent's economy once again."
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