Skip to main content
Africa Blog

Small Business

The Journey of African SMBs: Reflecting on Google's Hustle Academy Impact

A group of joyful graduates at the Google Hustle Academy event, tossing caps among confetti. Hustle Academy branding is visible in the background.

In the bustling heart of Nairobi, Kenya, a small business named Pippy Leather Works has been rewriting its story of resilience and growth. This local enterprise, specialising in crafting high-quality leather goods and primarily employing local women, initially struggled to expand its reach and improve operational efficiency. It's a story that resonates with many across Sub-Saharan Africa. However, Pippy Leather's business transformed in 2022 after its founder, Milka Adhiambo, attended the Google Hustle Academy. Today, it not only enjoys a robust online presence but has also doubled its revenue and expanded its team.

Milka’s story is not an isolated one. It reflects a challenge faced by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Africa. Although these businesses are the backbone of our economies, they often struggle with access to capital, limited market reach, and lack of business skills.

To support the vital role SMBs play in Africa's economy, and in recognizing the hurdles they face, we launched the Hustle Academy in 2022. This initiative offers tailored training including business strategy, digital marketing, and financial planning directly addressing the areas where SMBs most commonly encounter challenges.

In the Hustle Academy Impact Report, we found that 80% of the participants reported a positive impact on their revenue. Furthermore, access to new funding sources for these businesses nearly doubled, from 11% to 20%. It's not just about numbers; it's about real businesses making real progress. This year, over 5,300 SMBs graduated from the Hustle Academy, bringing the total to more than 10,300 since the program's inception. Our approach is strengthened by the collaboration with our partners (more about our partners here). We extend our heartfelt gratitude to them for their vital role in providing small businesses with the necessary resources and guidance.

The infographic highlights Google Hustle Academy's (HA) impact: 80% of participants saw revenue growth; 92% overcame marketing challenges; HA influenced 4,000 new jobs across 1,000 businesses; and HA participants reported a 9% increase in funding access, with a 25% decrease in reliance on informal funds. Data by Google | KANTAR

We've taken steps to support the growth and development of SMBs in Nigeria through the Hustle Academy Fund. Earlier today we unveiled 15 businesses to receive a combined 75 Million Naira, focusing not only on financial aid but also on providing mentorship and ongoing support.

The following 15 businesses are the recipients of this Fund:

  • Angela Jidechukwu Nwabueze - Jelapetra Farms Ltd
  • Aminu Abdulkarim - A.A.K. Shoes
  • Anita Aletor - Rotela Business Synergy
  • Blessing Akpan - Inyene Agro processing factory Ltd
  • Chigozie Bashua - The Nut Place Limited
  • Chikere Onyinyechi Breakthrough - Clozetsales
  • Constance Ufuoma Edesiri - Stance Fashion Empire
  • Eniola Robert - Ennie Wears
  • Femi Bolaji - Wauley Projects Limited
  • Funmilola Moronke Agbayewa - Segunfunmi foods Nigeria Limited
  • Hussaini Aliyu Baba - Lead Way Family Poultry
  • Ifeoma Augusta Anselem - Rae's Clothing
  • John Samuel Andefiki - Kita Farm
  • Nafisa Abdulrazaq Sabo - Pinch N' Dash
  • Ojo Femi Christopher - Foodlane ventures
The image captures a group of individuals on stage for the 2023 Hustle Academy SME Fund Recipients event. Two people are seated in the foreground with others standing in a row behind them, all facing the camera with smiles. The backdrop features company logos and the event title, along with the Google Hustle Academy logo.

As we reflect on the achievements of these SMBs, we're reminded of the role they play in driving economic growth in Africa. Their success is not just a win for their businesses but a win for their communities and countries.