A series of programmes to support the growth and recovery of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Africa’s post-COVID economy, and also to help them thrive have been rolled out by Google through the month of June.
This forms part of the international Small Business Month, which will have activities such as the launch of a new Google for Small Businesses portal to help small businesses find the solutions and guidance they need to get online and grow. There will also be a series of SMB skills webinars aimed at helping small businesses use digital tools to connect with and grow their customer base. SMBs can register for free webinars available on 9, 16 and 23 June at goo.gle/smbwebinars
Also included is Shop Small Fridays – a social media video series highlighting and celebrating small businesses across the continent. Those interested can follow the #ShopSmallFriday series on the Google Africa Twitter account.
On the continent, SMBs account for around 90% of all businesses forming the backbone of the economy. While these businesses account for 80% of the region’s employment, the COVID-19 pandemic and restricted business activity over the past year have had, and continue to have, a significant impact on them and the livelihoods of millions, according to a statement by Google.
Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Google’s head of brand and reputation for Africa says: “As more consumers start their journey looking for products and services online, we want to do more to help retail small 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”.
Also, the Google for Small Business portal has been developed as a one-stop shop for small businesses to get started on the web and to grow their digital presence, helping them choose the appropriate tools for online success and the achievement of their business goals.
“This portal is all about supporting businesses as they get online. In a competitive business environment, digital technology helps to drive economic growth and job creation, while delivering valuable services to people in Africa,” said Aderemi-Makinde.
This move 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.