Tech giant Google has today announced the launch of a new academy to offer free training to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. Known as the Google Hustle Academy, the programme will be offered in form of a BootCamp.
Google says it has been designed to help entrepreneurs and small businesses owners position their businesses for investment opportunities and building viable business models for the future.
The Google Hustle Academy is a practical educational program with interactive activities and instruction by subject matter experts. It also provides access to a global network of mentors and alumni.
Business owners will undergo five days of hands-on training and receive 3,000 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.
“SMEs are the engine that drives growth for any economy. In Africa, SMEs account for around 80% 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,” said Rosemary Momanyi-Opiyo, Small and Medium Business Lead, East and West Africa.
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.
Since 2017, Google has been providing digital skills training in Africa, and while there has been measurable success in growing these skills, SMBs need more hands-on support. A core intent of the Hustle Academy is to support SMBs with the right skills, resources and access to thrive and grow.
“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 the Africa SME lead.
Interested and qualified businesses can apply to join the program here.