In celebration of the International Women day (IWD), Google has announced a $1m grant to support female entrepreneurs in Africa.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Head Brand and Reputation, Africa-Google, said the gesture is part of the company’s new initiatives to support women-owned businesses, adding that the move would bridge an extant gap in terms of opportunities available for male and female entrepreneurs in the continent.
“Research shows that 58% of small and medium-sized business (SMB) entrepreneurs in Africa are women.”
“Despite this, women-run businesses show, on average, 34% lower profits than those run by their male counterparts. They are also less likely to receive funding and investment.
“This is why we are announcing a series of initiatives today, aimed at providing the support women need to grow their businesses.”
In addition to the grant, Makinde said Google also launched #LookMeUp, a campaign to showcase women entrepreneurs and tell their stories.
“These stories feature women like Vivian Nwakah in Nigeria, who launched Medsaf, a pharma supply chain solution to help Nigerians get access to quality pharmaceutical health care services.
“Mary Mwange, CEO and founder of Data Integrated who is driving innovation in the mobile payments sector in Nairobi, Kenya and Mosa Mkhize in South Africa, who launched Origins Publishers to provide her children – and others like them – with books in their home languages,’’ she said.
Makinde added that Google is also providing free tools to support women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and had launched an intensive programme to drive the discovery of women-owned businesses through Google Business Profiles.