Google has announced 1,000 scholarships for small retail company owners in Kenya to help create online stores to sell their products and services,
The announcement was made recently during the International Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) Day celebration. To create an online professional certificate program in digital marketing and e-commerce aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, Google announced a partnership with Coursera, a provider of free online courses (SMEs).
The certificate program is the most recent in a line of programs designed to prepare participants for entry-level work.
“E-commerce presents an opportunity for small businesses in Kenya to reach new customers and grow. Through the digital marketing and e-commerce career certificates and specialized training to our 1,000 SMB scholarship beneficiaries, we want to assist small businesses in Africa gain the expertise to connect online, expand their customer base and scale-up,” says Agnes Gathaiya, Google Country Director for Kenya and East Africa.
While online sales in South Africa surged by 66 per cent from 2019 to 2020, reaching more than $1.8 billion, the e-commerce marketplaces in Kenya and Nigeria grew by 40 and 30 per cent in 2021.
“As more consumers on the continent continue to search for goods and services online, small retail businesses must learn how to better harness online tools for growth,” Ms Gathaiya adds.
The launch of Local Opportunity Finder, a new tool that assesses a Google Company Profile and provides tailored recommendations for improvements a business owner may like to make to how their profile appears to customers in Google Search, also occurs this month.
The free Hustle Academy, which runs for one week in June, is another program that will provide small and medium-sized retail companies (SMBs) with the critical skills they need to expand. Over the previous five years, Kenya has experienced a steady increase in online retailers, with an e-commerce industry growth rate of 44% in 2021. South Africa boasts about 2,000 shopping complexes covering over 24 million square meters.
Over 90% of the wholesale and retail sector in Nigeria is made up of informal traders, making it the third-largest contributor to the country’s GDP. Small retail enterprises in Africa have a ton of room to develop because of the continent’s expanding young population and urbanization. Through programs like Google Hustle Academy, Google Business Profile, Market Finder, and Market Kit, Google has demonstrated its continued commitment to helping small companies in Africa.
A program titled Google Hustle Academy was just launched by Sendy to provide MSMEs in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa with professional training in company strategy and development, digital marketing, and financial planning. The events held to recognize International SMB Day this month confirm Google’s commitment to helping small retail firms on the continent get the digital tools, training, and technology they need to succeed and be more resilient.