By Favour Nnabugwu
No fewer than 5000 Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya will receive free training from Google to help their businesses thrive through it’s newly launched programme, Hustle Academy.
Google Hustle Academy is a bootcamp-style training program designed to help entrepreneurs and small businesses owners position their businesses for investment opportunities and building viable business models for the future.
Disclosing this today, Google Head of Brand and Reputation, Sub-Saharan Africa Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, said: “SMEs are the engine that drives growth for any economy. In Africa, SMEs account for around 80 percent of jobs and are a significant source of economic growth.
“In order to grow the economy and increase employment, it is crucial that small businesses have access to the right tools, training and funding to scale up.
“The Hustle Academy’s mission is to assist entrepreneurs navigate the business challenges they face by providing them with the appropriate tools and knowledge.
“Our hope is that through the Hustle Academy training this year, we will be able to assist 5,000 SMEs and entrepreneurs across Africa take their business to the next level and find ways to scale our efforts to help even more businesses going forward,” added Aderemi-Makinde.
According to Google, the participants wil get one-on-one mentorship, access to industry leaders and keynote events.
It said: “Business owners will undergo five days of hands-on training and receive 3000 hours of training on fundamental aspects of business to help them navigate the challenges faced by SMEs in Africa.
“The training curriculum includes strategic growth sessions including business growth strategy, building digital marketing roadmaps, discovering and evaluating funding routes and how to pitch for success among other topics.
“The program is open to businesses that have been in operation for more than a year, have developed a business strategy and defined their product or service offering, and are aiming to grow.
“They must also have made a profit in the previous 12 months or be within 1-3 months of breaking even,” Google emphasized, while advising interested and qualified businesses to apply.
Commenting on the development, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Teju Abisoye, said: “The Google Hustle Academy Program is a laudable initiative that will help improve business prospects and also create the impact we desire at the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.
“I recommend this program to business owners and SMEs, to improve results and growth in Lagos business ecosystem.”