In celebration of the 2022 International Women’s Day, Google has announced plans to commit $1 million in charitable funding to support programs helping women entrepreneurs grow their businesses. This is part of a series of new initiatives aimed at supporting women-owned businesses.
According to Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Head Brand and Reputation at Google Africa, data shows that 58 percent of small and medium-sized business (SMB) entrepreneurs in Africa are women, yet, women-run businesses on average have 34 percent lower profits than those run by their male counterparts.
“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,” she said.
Furthermore, Google has also announced its #LookMeUp initiative, a campaign to showcase women entrepreneurs and tell their stories. These stories feature women like Vivian Nwakah in Nigeria, who launched Medsaf, a pharma supply chain solution to help Nigerians get access to quality pharmaceutical health care services; Mary Mwange, CEO and founder of Data Integrated who is driving innovation in the mobile payments sector in Nairobi, Kenya, and Mosa Mkhize in South Africa, who launched Origins Publishers to provide children with books in their home languages
“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,” Makinde said.
These tools include Google Business Profile, which helps businesses create a free webpage to make them easier to find online, and Primer, an app-based skills-building platform that allows business owners access various free, custom-designed, bite-sized lessons on the go.
To help women business owners to develop their skills, Google has also dedicated the March cohort of the Hustle Academy to women-owned SMEs. The Hustle Academy which was launched in February is a free, week-long bootcamp designed to help businesses build the expertise they need to expand their businesses.