On 27 June, the world marks Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day. It's a day worth celebrating, particularly in Africa, where small companies are the main drivers of jobs and economic growth. But it also serves as a reminder that small businesses need support to thrive, particularly in the aftermath of the challenges they've endured in the previous two years.
At Google, we’re inspired by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across Africa and therefore want to help them achieve their business goals and have an array of digital tools, training, and support channels they can use. We've been expanding on that commitment this month with events and activities geared at assisting African SMBs in taking the next step in their ecommerce journey.
Shop Small Business Summit
The Shop Small Summit, our first ecommerce-focused International Small Business Month event, held this week. The one-hour virtual event aimed at helping small business owners improve their knowledge of ecommerce trends in Sub Saharan Africa included key sessions, talks and speeches from speakers from LSETF, KEPSA, MTN, Yoco, Sendy, and Bumpa, an ads marketing masterclass, and announcements about new Google tools and products to support SMBs in Africa.
Dedicated Hustle Academy cohorts
Hustle Academy, our free week-long bootcamp intended to help small and medium-sized businesses get the skills they need to thrive, will host two retail-focused cohorts aimed at on helping small businesses owners acquire the skills to scale and grow their retail operations. We have also been collaborating with local partners such as Bumpa, BidorBuy, PayStack and Jiji who provide free web presence maintenance to assist African SMBs in achieving long-term online success.
New digital marketing and e-commerce certificate
In partnership with the well-known open online course provider Coursera, we have designed an online professional certificate course in digital marketing and e-commerce for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and have made available 1,000 scholarships to Africans who desire to enroll. The certificate program is the most recent in a series of efforts targeted at preparing participants for entry jobs.Find out more at g.co/grow/ecommercecertificate
New Local Opportunity Finder tool
To help local businesses be more discoverable on Google Search, we created the Local Opportunity Finder tool, which analyses a Google Business Profile and makes personalised recommendations to business owners on how to enhance the way their business profile looks to consumers when they use Google Search. Find out more at g.co/lof/ssa
For the SMBs that can take advantage of it, this ecommerce explosion represents a significant opportunity. As a study by McKinsey points out, it not only allows SMBs to transcend the limits of brick and mortar stores but also to reach new markets more efficiently.
As exciting as it’s been to witness the growth in African ecommerce over the past couple of years, it’s even more exciting to think about how much more room for growth there still is.
We’re excited to be on this journey, and to be providing support to business owners on the continent.
By Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Regional Head Brand and Reputation, Africa - Google