Google Supports Small Retail Businesses in Africa
By Adedapo Adesanya
To boost and support the growth and recovery of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Africa’s post-COVID economy, Google has kicked off a series of programmes that will run through the month of June, which is International Small Business Month.
On the continent, SMBs account for around 90 per cent of all businesses, forming the backbone of the economy, while these businesses account for 80 per cent of the region’s employment, the COVID-19 pandemic and restricted business activity over the past year have had, and continue to have a significant impact on them and the livelihoods of millions.
According to Google’s head of Brand and Reputation for Africa, Mrs Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, “As more consumers start their journey looking for products and services online, we want to do more to help retail small businesses digitise and better leverage online tools for growth. One thing we know for sure is that when small businesses recover, African economies rebound and do well and this benefits everyone.”
To mark the month, the company has planned to launch a new Google for Small Businesses portal to help small businesses find the solutions and guidance they need to get online and grow.
It also plans to unveil a series of SMB skills webinars aimed at helping small businesses use digital tools to connect with and grow their customer base. SMBs can register for free webinars available on June 9, 16 and 23 at goo.gle/smbwebinars
In addition, the firm intends to start Shop Small Fridays, a social media video series highlighting and celebrating small businesses across the continent. Those interested can follow the #ShopSmallFriday series on our Google Africa Twitter account.
The Google for Small Business portal has been developed as a one-stop shop for small businesses to get started on the web and to grow their digital presence, helping them choose the appropriate tools for online success and the achievement of their business goals.
Speaking on the activities, Mrs Aderemi-Makinde noted, “This portal is all about supporting businesses as they get online. In a competitive business environment, digital technology helps to drive economic growth and job creation, while delivering valuable services to people in Africa.”
This is coming almost a year after Google committed to helping more than 500, 000 businesses, jobseekers and vulnerable people with support packages including free business tools, training and grants.
These programmes reiterate Google’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that small retail businesses on the continent have the right tools and skills to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic and drive the continent’s economy once again.