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Small Businesses, Job Seekers To Get Post-covid-19 Support As Google Unveils Initiatives

Nigeria Student Forum / General Discussion / Small Businesses, Job Seekers To Get Post-covid-19 Support As Google Unveils Initiatives

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Sani Ibrahim
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa,University
Agricultural economics and extension
100Level, Nigeria.
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… Partners Nigeria’s ministry of youth and sports
development for scalability … To support teachers,
organisations boosting children’s literacy with grants
As businesses try to regain balance following economic
disruptions causes by the COVID-19 pandemic, Google today
announced plans to help businesses, job seekers, educational
institutions and vulnerable populations as they try to rebuild
and recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
500,000 small businesses across sub-Saharan Africa are to
benefit from funding, training and services across identified
sectors, while 25,000 teachers will get access to free online
training sessions and resources to boost their capacities.
In executing its plans in Nigeria, Google has also partnered
with Nigeria’s Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to
provide support for youth-owned small businesses. The
partnership is also expected to provide jobseekers in Nigeria
with support in acquiring marketable skills through
certification and training programs.
“We are focused on creating an enabling environment that
promotes youth and social development in Nigeria. This
partnership with Google in Nigeria is critical at this period and
we look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on
SMBs’ recovery, enhancing the skills of jobseekers and
improving the digital effectiveness of the education sector,”
said Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development
during an online briefing hosted by Google.
Google also says it has set up a digital hub that provides free
tools and resources to businesses and individuals. Through
the hub, 500,000 small businesses will receive help getting
online or improving their digital presence through Google My
Business (GMB), which helps them connect with millions of
users every month.
“Small businesses have been hardest hit during this period.
Many of them have had to figure out quickly how to pivot their
operations to a ‘digital-first’ approach,” said Juliet Ehimuan,
Google Nigeria country director. “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 these
initiatives.”
To provide assistance to vulnerable populations, Google.org
has set aside $3 million in grants to nonprofits that support
education, entrepreneurship and women empowerment across
Africa.
Out of this, $500,000 will go towards a grant for the Praekelt
Foundation in order to help train micro and small businesses
in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The foundation is a
software development non-profit that builds open-source,
scalable mobile technologies and solutions to improve the
health and wellbeing of underprivileged people.
It was also stated that as part of efforts to help job seekers
acquire new skills while they look for opportunities, Google is
providing underserved communities and job seekers with
$750,000 in IT support scholarships through Google.org across
Africa. 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 personalized
training courses.
Furthermore, 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. Google says it
is also giving a grant of $250,000 to organizations in Nigeria,
which are developing programs and tools to boost literacy for
children in low-income schools in the country.
“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,” Ehimuan said.
As Dare noted, an important lesson of the COVID-19 pandemic
is the importance and dominance of technology, where
Nigerian youths are quite active. “This Google partnership
comes at a time most appropriate to help ratchet up support
for our enterprising youth across Nigeria”.

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