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Google commits R15.3m to help small businesses owned by African women

Business Insider SA
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  • Google, through its philanthropic arm Google.org, has committed R15.3 million to help grow small to medium businesses owned by women in Africa. 
  • In addition to the funding, the company has launched a platform called #LookMeUp aimed at helping showcase women entrepreneurs and tell their stories.
  • Through Google Business Profile, Google will assist business create a free webpage to make them easier to find online.  
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

American multinational technology company Google, through its philanthropic arm, Google.org, announced today that it will pledge R15.3 million worth of charitable funds to support African female entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.  

This, according to the tech giant, forms part of a series of new initiatives aimed at supporting 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.  

"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," said Head of Brand and Reputation, Africa Mojolaoluwa Aderemi Makinde.    

Google has also announced the launch of a campaign called #LookMeUp to help showcase women entrepreneurs and tell their stories.  

The stories featured on the platform include those of women entrepreneurs like Mosa Mkhize, a South African businesswoman who launched Origins Publishers to provide her children - and others like them - with books in their respective home languages.  

Others include women like Vivian Nwakah from Nigeria, who launched Medsaf, a pharma supply chain solution aimed at helping Nigerians get access to quality pharmaceutical health care services.  

According to Makinde, Google will make available tools to help women led-businesses soar.  

"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.  

Google Business Profile aims to assist business create a free webpage to make them easier to find online.  

Another available tool is Primer, an app-based skills building platform, aimed at granting business owners access to a series of free, custom-designed, bite-sized lessons on the go. 

In efforts to further elevate women business owners to develop and sharpen their skills, Google has also dedicated the March cohort of the Hustle Academy to women-owned SMBs. The Hustle Academy, which launched in February, is a free, week-long bootcamp designed to help SMBs build the expertise they need to expand their businesses.   

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