Small businesses are the lifeblood of the African economy. In Nigeria and Kenya, SMEs contribute to 84% of all local jobs and In South Africa SMEs contribute to 52% of the country's GDP (source). SMBs in Africa have been hard hit by the pandemic with 56% of workers in urban jobs in Nigeria stopping work. ( source)
At Google , we are passionate about small and medium businesses; not so long ago, in 1998, we ourselves started out as a small business. This is why, as we celebrate International Small Business Month in June, we are reaffirming our support for small retail firms in Africa through new programs focused at bolstering their recovery efforts.
Launching Google for Small Business
We have launched a new website, Google for Small Business, dedicated to help small African businesses take and grow their businesses online and continue to reach customers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The free website will guide businesses along every step of their journey from setting up a Business Profile on Google, to creating a free website, along with tips and advice on how to reach and grow their customer base. The platform will also allow business owners to tailor their approach, in their own time, to operating online based on their own specific needs.
Last year we announced a set of programs to assist 500,000 African small businesses recover from the financial effects of Covid-19. This Google for Small business website complements existing Google tools such Market Finder for SMEs aiming to export to new markets, and Marketing Kit for assistance with developing marketing materials.
Businesses can also reach out to our partner Africa118 to get verified on Google my Business.
SMB digital skills webinars
Helping more people understand how to utilise the Web to improve themselves and grow their businesses is something we’ve been particularly passionate about. Our digital skills programmes have reached over 5 million people across Africa, many of whom are business owners. As part of this programme, this month we'll be hosting 3 one-hour long retail SMB-focused webinars on YouTube, covering topics like Analytics, Digital Marketing, and Ads with Google.
The webinars will be available for free on 9, 16, and 23 June and interested attendees are invited to register at goo.gle/smbwebinars
Featuring African small business
Our efforts to promote small businesses in Africa includes creating forums for information sharing and cross-policing of ideas. We will be sharing the stories of small businesses who use digital technologies from Google and others to expand their online presence, reach new consumers, and make a difference in their local communities. The series, known as #ShopSmallFridays will premiere on the Google Africa Twitter account, and will feature inspiring stories of small businesses, with a focus on African triumphs.
Please follow the #ShopSmallFriday series on our Google Africa Twitter account.
If you’re inspired to support small retail businesses, encourage them to sign up for our digital skills training or take a look at G4SMB