Technology and search engine giant, Google, through its newly launched training programme, Hustle Academy, plans to train 5,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa to help their businesses thrive.
Google has been providing digital skills training in Africa since 2017, but while there has been a measurable success in growing these skills, it said small and medium businesses (SMBs) need more hands-on support, adding that the core intent of the Hustle Academy is to support SMBs with the right skills, resources and access to thrive and grow.
Conceived as a bootcamp-style training programme, the Hustle Academy is designed to help entrepreneurs and small businesses owners position their businesses for investment opportunities and build viable business models for the future.
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It further described the academy as a practical educational programme with interactive activities and instruction by subject matter experts, providing access to a global network of mentors and alumni.
Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, head of brand and reputation, sub-Saharan Africa, said on Wednesday in Lagos, “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 to 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.
She also mentioned that 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 programme 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.
Teju Abisoye, executive secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, speaking at the launch of the programme, said, “The Google Hustle Academy programme 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 programme to business owners and SMEs, to improve results and growth in Lagos business ecosystem.”