Google today announced plans to help businesses, job seekers, educational institutions and vulnerable populations as they grapple with the “new normal” and begin to rebuild and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
The tech giant announced a number of exciting initiatives will help business owners address the need for funding, training and services across identified sectors.
These include a support programme for SMBs as well as a partnership with the Nigerian Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to provide support for 500,000 youth-owned SMBs.
Through the Google hub, 500,000 small businesses will receive help getting online or improving their digital presence through Google My Business (GMB) which helps them connect with millions of users every month.
Speaking on the effort, Google’s Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan, said:
“Small businesses have been hardest hit during this period. Many of them have had to figure out quickly how to pivot their operations to a ‘digital-first’ approach. Yet, there remains a gap between those who can access these online opportunities and those who can’t. That’s the gap we want to bridge with these initiatives”– Google’s Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan
“We will continue to do our part to help businesses recover and grow, help more people prepare for jobs, and support students, teachers and underserved communities. And in so doing, we hope to create real economic opportunity for everyone,” concludes Ehimuan.
Support for Individuals
The company also plans to provide support for job seekers in Nigeria to help them acquire marketable skills through certification and training programs, and involve supporting programs that enable and improve access to quality education across the region.
To foster its plans, Google has set up a digital hub to provide free tools and resources.
Job seekers can also access the Google training portal for help in growing their careers or businesses at their own pace and through flexible and personalized training courses.
Also, to help job seekers acquire new skills while they look for opportunities, Google is providing underserved communities and job seekers with $750,000 in IT support scholarships through Google.org across Africa.
On his part, the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Nigeria, Sunday Dare revealed that the ministry is excited to partner with Google on this project. He said:
“This partnership with Google in Nigeria is critical at this period and we look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on SMBs’ recovery, enhancing the skills of jobseekers and supporting the education sector. We are focused on creating an enabling environment that promotes youth and economic development in Nigeria.”– Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Nigeria, Sunday Dare
Google’s Grants Contribution
To provide assistance to vulnerable populations, Google.org has set aside $3 million in grants for nonprofits that support education, entrepreneurship and women empowerment across Africa.
$500,000 of that is going towards a grant to the Praekelt Foundation, a software development non-profit that builds open-source, scalable mobile technologies and solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of underprivileged people.
This will help the foundation train micro and small businesses in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
Support for Education
For educational institutions and teachers, Google is working with partners across Africa, through Google for Education, to help deploy its suite of education products in schools and help 500,000 students continue learning.
To help teachers keep teaching, Google aims to give 25,000 educators access to free online training sessions and resources, such as Teach From Anywhere.
Google is also giving a grant of $250,000 to organizations in Nigeria which are developing programs and tools to boost literacy for children in low-income schools in the country.
Introducing a new Marketing Kit
Google announced a new Marketing Kit tool to help people to put together marketing kits for their businesses. Its free Market Finder tool has been updated with insights for negotiating a COVID and post-COVID environment.
The free tool is designed to help with localisation, international payments and logistics for African businesses looking to reach new customers around the world, keep customers informed with their latest news, create custom posters and social posts.
It can be accessed from the Google My Business profile the tool helps businesses
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