By Hassan Muaz
Google on Tuesday held graduation events in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa to celebrate 5000 business owners who have completed its Hustle Academy training programme. At the events, Google also announced a new speaker series in which successful African entrepreneurs share lessons and advice, furthering its commitment to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive.
Launched in February this year, the Hustle Academy provides practical business training which helps business owners learn the soft skills that complement their hard talents, through peer-to-peer and mentor driven learning.
This year’s graduates were chosen from nearly 10 000 applications. The 5000 graduates come from 23 cohorts who attended five day virtual bootcamps where they learned how to define their business strategy, increase sales, and how to pitch for investor funding. The curriculum also included lessons on digital marketing and effective financial planning.
Each business also received one on one mentoring sessions, to address specific pain points in their businesses, and to get advice from a network of trained mentors and coaches.
“Our graduates are working hard to grow their businesses, and in addition to having an impact in these 5000 SMBs, this kind of practical training also has a ripple effect, helping many more people succeed, “ says Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde – Head of Brand & Reputation, SSA.
The “Hustle Academy Brings You…” the new talk-show style video series featuring renowned and respected entrepreneurs from across Africa, sharing practical advice and growth tips to inspire emerging entrepreneurs is meant to complement and expand the Hustle Academy training.
This speaker series will allow SMBs to get insight from business owners from an array of sectors, focusing on the issues, themes and subjects they face on a regular basis.
Says Aderemi-Makinde, “Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the backbone of the global economy, and in Africa, they account for an estimated 80% of jobs. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are an estimated 44 million micro, small and medium enterprises, which function as important drivers of economic growth.
Google is committed to supporting businesses in Africa and initiatives like the Hustle Academy and the new speaker series help businesses take advantage of all the opportunities that the web offers and equip them with the tools to develop and grow.