Google has announced a Sh114 million funding to support African female entrepreneurs. The initiative was announced through the tech giant’s philanthropic arm, Google.org as part of a new series whose goal is to support women-owned businesses.
“Research shows that 58% of small- and medium-sized business (SMB) entrepreneurs in Africa are women. Despite this, women-run businesses show, on average, 34% lower profits than those run by their male counterparts.” Google’s Head of Brand and Reputation, Africa Mojolaoluwa Aderemi Makinde said.
“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 this, Google has also rolled out the #LookMeUp campaign to help highlight businesses owned by female entrepreneurs, and to give them a platform to tell their stories.
Among the women featured in the campaign are Kenya’s Wangari Mushue who owns a soap making business and delivers her organic products to an international market and Serah Muindi who founded Hopewell Counselling firm to provide mental wellness services especially during the pandemic period.
Others include Nigerian Vivian Nwakah, who founded Medsaf, a pharmaceutical supply chain solution focused at ensuring that Nigerians have access to high-quality pharmaceutical health care.
“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,” said Makinde.
The Google Business Profile helps businesses establish a profile online to help them get discovered. Primer, an app-based skills-building platform, is another useful tool that allows business owners to access a series of free, custom-designed, bite-sized classes while on the go.
Google has dedicated the March cohort of the Hustle Academy to women-owned small businesses in an effort to help them build and improve their abilities. The Hustle Academy, which debuted in February, is a free, week-long bootcamp aimed at helping small businesses gain the expertise they need to grow.