The initiatives will address the issue of funding, training and services.
Google has announced it will assist half a million of small businesses in South Africa through funding, training and other services – seeing how severely the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted on our economy and worsened unemployment levels.
An online platform called ‘Google My Business’ has already been established by the company to help thousands of small businesses get onto search engines.
Google SA head Alistair Mokoena said small business experienced the worst impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Many of them have had to figure out quickly how to pivot their operations to a ‘digital-first’ approach. Yet, there remains a gap between those who can access these online opportunities and those who can’t. That’s the gap we want to bridge with this initiative,” he said.
Mokoena said the Google My Business will work with a company’s profile – to help your business keep customers informed with the latest news, create custom posters and social posts.
Google.org will also help with an amount of R12.5 million in IT support scholarships across the African continent.
Job seekers can also access the ‘Grow with Google’ training portal for help in growing their careers or businesses at their own pace and through flexible and personalised training courses.
To help teachers keep teaching, Google aims to give 25 000 educators access to free online training sessions and resources, such as ‘Teach From Anywhere’.
To provide assistance to vulnerable populations, Google.org has set aside R50 million ($3 million) in grants to non-profits that support education, entrepreneurship and women empowerment across Africa. R8.3 million ($500,000) of that is going towards a grant to the Praekelt Foundation – a software development non-profit that builds open-source, scalable mobile technologies and solutions to improve the health and well-being of underprivileged people – in order to help train micro and small businesses in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
An additional R8.3 million ($500,000) grant is going to Youth Employment Services in order to provide twelve-month employment opportunities and digital skills to young black people in South Africa.
“We will continue to do our part to help businesses recover and grow, help more people prepare for jobs, and support students, teachers and underserved communities. And in-so-doing, we hope to create real economic opportunity for everyone,” said Mokoena.
(edited by ZK)
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