About 41% of Nigeria’s small businesses are owned by women according to a Guardian report. Sadly, many of such enterprises owned by women hardly grow beyond their primary stages because of a number of reasons that are the same across the country and indeed across Africa; funding and technical expertise.
Google is trying to solve both problems with the announcement of a $3 million grant awarded to the Tony Elumelu Foundation. The grant is aimed at providing entrepreneurship training, mentorship and coaching to at least 5,000 women with low digital skills, who come from rural areas and currently operate in an informal sector.
The grant is also aimed at providing seed capital in the form of one-time cash grants will also be provided to 500 African women aspiring entrepreneurs in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and select Francophone countries. This will prepare women founders who otherwise wouldn’t have access to opportunities to navigate their businesses through the startup journey.
CEO at Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, said there is no better time to invest in women’s economic participation on the continent than now because through such investments, women will drive growth for local economies and enable better living conditions for their communities.
Therefore this grant will provide financial and technical support for additional women-owned businesses and marginalized groups in the informal sector through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.
We are delighted to disburse the Google.org grant to scale our ongoing efforts to empower young African entrepreneurs as we believe this will be instrumental in building much-needed businesses and resilient economies
According to data from the World Bank in 10 African countries, male-owned enterprises have six times more capital than female owned enterprises.
Managing Director of Google Sub-Saharan Africa, Nitin Gajria says this huge capital gap is not stopping the rise of female entrepreneurs, but it slows them down and makes their journeys much more challenging.
“We are dedicated to building a world where all women can thrive. We hope that the support to The Tony Elumelu Foundation will help accelerate the growth of women tech makers and entrepreneurs in Africa,” he said.