Google extends N75 million fund opportunity to Nigerian SMEs

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Google extends N75 million fund opportunity to Nigerian SMEs
Google extends N75 million fund opportunity to Nigerian SMEs

In a bid to bolster the aspirations of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Nigeria, Google has announced the launch of the ‘Hustle Academy SMB Fund,’ a groundbreaking initiative offering N75 million in equity-free funding.

This program, which is designed to support Nigerian small business owners, will grant N5 million to each of the 15 selected beneficiaries.

Applications for this fund officially opened on September 28, 2023, and will remain open until October 12.

SMEs for growth and success

Google’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurial growth in Nigeria is reinforced by this initiative.

The ‘Hustle Academy SMB Fund’ builds upon the foundation laid by Google’s Hustle Academy, established in 2022.

The Academy provides SMEs with essential business and management education, mentoring, and networking opportunities. It places significant emphasis on equipping businesses to prepare for capital raising and expansion.

Since its inception, the Hustle Academy program has successfully graduated over 4,000 SMBs in Nigeria, with an impressive 74% of participants from the inaugural year reporting substantial business growth.

To qualify for this fund, businesses must meet specific criteria: they must be Nigerian-founded, in operation within Nigeria for a duration of one to five years, and possess a well-defined and scalable business plan.

Google also encourages businesses with a history of growth commitment, alignment with the digital economy, or a digital enablement strategy to apply. While not mandatory, previous participation in the Hustle Academy program is seen as an advantage.

Google has allocated a dedicated N75 million fund pool for Nigeria, exclusively aimed at supporting 15 investor-ready SMBs through non-dilutive funding.

Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, the Head of Brand and Reputation for sub-Saharan Africa at Google, expressed her confidence in Nigerian small businesses, emphasizing their critical role in the country’s economy.

She believes that this fund will empower them to thrive, generate economic growth, create jobs, and offer opportunities to all Nigerians.

Sinmisola Nojimu-Yusuf, Product Marketing Manager and the lead for the Hustle Academy program at Google, noted that the fund equips SMBs with essential resources and support to enhance their chances of success.

For additional information, including application guidelines, interested parties are encouraged to visit the official website here.