On the continent, SMBs account for around 90% of all businesses forming the backbone of the economy. While these businesses account for 80% 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, says Google.
Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Google's head of brand and reputation for Africa, says, "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."
Activities planned by Google for International Small Business Month include:
- the launch of a new Google for small businesses portal to help small businesses find the solutions and guidance they need to get online and grow
- 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, and
- 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.
"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," concludes Aderemi-Makinde.
"This move comes less than 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," says Aderemi-Makinde.
These programmes aim to be an illustration of 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.
For more information, visit www.google.com.