By Onome Amuge
Five thousand small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa have graduated from the Hustle Academy training programme facilitated by multinational technology company Google.
The 5,000 graduates, chosen from nearly 10,000 applications, come from 23 cohorts who attended five-day virtual boot camps 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.
The Hustle Academy, launched in February 2022, is a bootcamp-style training programme designed to help entrepreneurs and small businesses owners position their businesses for investment opportunities and building viable business models for the future.
The academy is a practical educational programme with interactive activities and instruction by subject matter experts. It also 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 and access to a global network of mentors and alumni.
Speaking at the graduation event, Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), stressed the relevance of the country’s digital transformation and impact on businesses. He encouraged Nigerian entrepreneurs to take advantage of the growth in the sector to advance their digital skills to strengthen their competitiveness in the global market.
Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Google’s head of brand & reputation, sub-Saharan Africa, commended the graduates for their commitments towards growing their businesses. She added that the practical training Google offers, in addition to having an impact in the 5,000 small businesses, has a ripple effect in helping many more people succeed.
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 to thrive.
According to the technology giant, the speaker series, an expansion of the Hustle Academy, is a new talk-show-style video series featuring renowned and respected entrepreneurs from across Africa, sharing practical advice and growth tips to inspire emerging entrepreneurs.
Aderemi-Makinde explained that the speaker series is meant to complement and expand the Hustle Academy training. She added that it will also enable small businesses to get insight from business owners from an array of sectors, focusing on the issues, themes and subjects they face on a regular basis.