Google pledges $11 million to support Kenyan SMEs and startups.

Google has announced its latest contribution, committing a donation package valued at $11 million, which will be channelled towards loans for small businesses, tech startups, and grants for underserved communities in Kenya.

The CEO of Google and Alphabet Sundar Pichai made the announcement during a virtual meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta where they discussed ways the tech giant could assist Kenyan businesses and communities lessen the impacts of the pandemic.

To continue to support the economic recovery in Kenya, we are committing an additional $10m to go towards loans for small businesses, support for tech startups, and grants for underserved communities,” Pichai said during the meeting.

More to come on how we’ll help more people and businesses in Kenya and across Africa,” he added.

During the meeting, Google announced new updates for small businesses with their market finder tool – a platform that allows business owners to access global markets for their products.

To tackle youth unemployment, the tech giant also disclosed that it has been helping Kenyans in formal and informal jobs who have been impacted by the pandemic and are looking for new opportunities through ‘Grow with Google’.

According to the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, youth unemployment is estimated to be as high as 35 per cent with approximately 800,000 young Kenyans joining the labour market every year. We believe that by integrating digital education in Technical and Vocational Education & Training, we can give the youth the right skill set to help drive this transformation,” Google Kenya & East Africa country director Agnes Gathaiya said.

Since the pandemic hit, Google has worked with over 300,000 Small and Medium Enterprises in Africa to digitise their businesses and provide them with an online presence by building for the Google Business Profiles and business sites. In September 2020, the tech giant announced support for African businesses, job seekers and educational institutions in navigating the pandemic.

Leave a Reply