Google has launched a series of programs to promote small retailers in Africa, which will run throughout the month of June.
The programs, which will assist small businesses worldwide, including in Kenya, aims to enable small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) not only expand and recover in the post-Covid economy, but also thrive.
SMBs make up almost 90% of all enterprises in Africa, and they are the backbone of the continent’s economies.
While these companies employ 80% of the people in the region, the Covid-19 pandemic and restricted commercial activity have had, and continue to have, a substantial impact on them and the livelihoods of millions of people.
Last year, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) warned that the pandemic has put at least 75 small and medium enterprises in Kenya at risk of closing due to a shortage of finances.
This corresponds to nearly eight out of ten firms, a severe situation defined by CBK governor Patrick Njoroge as requiring immediate intervention for a sector that provides for 70% of new job creation in the country.
Due to decreased attendance at physical locations, the epidemic has forced many businesses to digital platforms.
“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,” Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Google’s head of brand and reputation for Africa, said in a statement Friday.
“One thing we know for sure is that when small businesses recover, African economies rebound and do well and this benefits everyone,”Mojolaoluwa added.
It provides a series of SBM skills webinars geared to helping small businesses engage with and develop their customer base through digital platforms.
Shop Small Friday & Google for Small Businesses portal.
The Shop Small Friday social media video series, which highlights and celebrates small businesses throughout the continent, is another tool.
The Google for Small Businesses portal was created to serve as a one-stop shop for small businesses looking to get online and increase their digital presence, as well as to assist them in selecting the right tools for online success and achieving their business objectives.
According to Aderime, this website is dedicated to assisting businesses as they transition to the internet. Digital technology helps to foster economic growth and job development in a competitive corporate climate while also providing useful services to people in Africa.
This comes less than a year after Google said that it will assist over 500, 000 entrepreneurs, job seekers, and vulnerable people with support packages that included free business tools, training, and grants.
These programs demonstrate Google’s continuous commitment to ensure that small retail businesses on the continent have the tools and skills they need to recover from the pandemic’s effects and re-energize the continent’s economy, according to the company.