By: Staff Writer, ITWeb

A cohort of 5 000 small business owners graduated from Google’s Hustle Academy this week, after completing the training programme.

Launched in February, the Hustle Academy is a Sub-Saharan Africa initiative designed to help small to medium businesses (SMBs) build the expertise they need to expand their businesses.

The free, week-long virtual bootcamps provide practical business training, which helps business owners learn the soft skills that complement their hard talents, through peer-to-peer and mentor-driven learning.

According to a Google statement, the graduation events for this cohort were held in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

Says Dr Alistair Mokoena, country director, Google South Africa: “Our graduates are working hard to grow their businesses, and in addition to having an impact in these 5 000 SMBs, this kind of practical training also has a ripple effect, helping many more people succeed.”

This year’s graduates were chosen from nearly 10 000 applications. The 5 000 graduates come from 23 cohorts who attended the bootcamps, where they learned how to define their business strategy, increase sales and pitch for investor funding. The curriculum also included lessons on digital marketing and effective financial planning.

Each business received one-on-one mentoring sessions, to address specific pain points in their start-up, and get advice from a network of trained mentors and coaches.

To complement and expand the Hustle Academy training, Google reveals it also plans to introduce a new speaker series titled: “Hustle Academy Brings You…”

The new talk-show-style video series will feature successful entrepreneurs from across Africa, sharing practical advice and growth tips to inspire emerging entrepreneurs.

It will allow SMBs to get insight from business owners from an array of sectors, focusing on the issues, themes and subjects they face on a regular basis, says the statement.

Mokoena adds: “Small and medium businesses are the backbone of the global economy, and in Africa, they account for an estimated 80% of jobs. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are an estimated 44 million micro, small and medium enterprises, which function as important drivers of economic growth.”


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