Google and USAID partner to expand SMB growth in Kenya

Google and the USAID eTrade Alliance have announced a partnership to expand the reach of the Hustle Academy Program in Kenya. This collaboration aims to provide 2,500 Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) with access to critical resources and digital tools to foster growth over 18 months. This will bring the number of SMBs trained in Kenya to 3,700.

Small businesses form the backbone of the African economy, yet often lack the essential resources and expert knowledge required for growth and expansion. Google’s Hustle Academy, launched in 2022, was conceived to tackle this issue, providing SMBs across Sub-Saharan Africa with the requisite skills, tools, and knowledge to harness digital technology and secure funding.

The effectiveness of the program is rooted in its 5-day bootcamp, which provides hands-on training and actionable advice. The comprehensive curriculum touches on key areas: business strategy, sales enhancement, digital marketing, financial planning, and successful pitching techniques. Through a strategic partnership with the USAID eTrade Alliance, capabilities in ecommerce are also integrated, creating a cohesive and practical learning journey. This equips small to medium businesses (SMBs) with the tools necessary to formulate growth plans, devise effective digital marketing strategies, identify and access funding opportunities, pitch successfully to investors, and harness the power of online selling.

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya, William S. Ruto, commended the program during the Jamhuri Day 2022 celebrations, stating, “the Hustle Academy showcases Google’s understanding of the entrepreneurial spirit and the desire for knowledge among aspiring hustlers in our society. I commend Google for their visionary approach and unwavering commitment to supporting and uplifting Kenyan entrepreneurs. The Hustle Academy exemplifies the transformative power of public-private partnerships, creating a vibrant ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurship and propels Kenya towards a brighter future for all.”

In 2022 when the program was launched, the Hustle Academy achieved positive results, graduating over 5,000 SMBs, with a striking 74% reporting significant business growth post-bootcamp. Agnes Gathaiya, the Country Director for Google in East Africa, affirmed, “Our partnership with the USAID e-Trade Alliance allows us to augment this impact, placing a special emphasis on harnessing e-commerce to catalyse a robust digital economy across Kenya.”

Echoing these sentiments, USAID eTrade Alliance Sr. Manager for Africa Programs, Michael Poor, added, “The USAID eTrade Alliance is proud to launch the Google Hustle Academy eCommerce program in Kenya. With a core mandate to promote economic growth for MSMEs through digital commerce and trade, this partnership with Google’s Hustle Academy supports the Alliance’s commitment to deliver on its goals.”

As the program enters its second year, the partnership promises to amplify its positive impact, with the graduation of an additional 2,500 Kenyan small businesses over 18 months, fostering a robust and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kenya.

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