Google has announced the launch of ‘Grow Stronger with Google’, a new program to accelerate the MENA region’s economic recovery from COVID-19, through digital transformation and by offering digital tools, training and grants to support local businesses and job seekers.
For Egypt, Google announced on Wednesday that the program will focus on supporting small businesses and tech entrepreneurs.
“During the pandemic, online tools have been a life-line for many in Egypt, making the most of the online opportunity can help the Egyptian people, businesses and communities bounce back stronger," said Country Manager for Google in Egypt, Hisham El Nazer. "Our program will help people learn new skills, find jobs, and help businesses grow online; we remain fundamentally optimistic about the future of this region and we're confident that by working together with local partners we can boost recovery and build on the rapid acceleration of tech adoption that we’ve seen during this crisis," he added.
The program in Egypt will includes digital skills & Cloud training, in partnership with local authorities and organizations including the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities, as well as, the Egyptian Tourism Federation. Google will offer training in digital marketing to 100,000 students, artisans and businesses in Egypt.
Moreover, it will involve Training for 70,000 developers, with a focus on women, in advanced digital skills covering topics like Flutter and Machine Learning and providing mentorship for businesses.
The programme will also extend $1.1 million worth of financial grants to organizations like Mercy Corps, Arab Tourism Organization and Youth Business International (YBI), in order to mentor businesses and entrepreneurs across the region.
According to Google, the YBI program will be delivered by ‘Misr El Kheir Foundation’, a local non-profit organization.
Google said that the funds will go towards offering mentorship to 800 underserved local businesses in Egypt.
It also aims at digitizing local Egyptian businesses and providing access to capital, the Launching of Market Finder, a product by Google that helps local retailers identify new markets & acquire global customers in addition to offering $2 million in loans to support thousands of underserved small businesses in Egypt in partnership with Kiva, an online lending platform.
As part of its region-wide program, Google is pledging to help one million people and businesses in MENA learn digital skills and grow their businesses by the end of 2021.
Google is also pledging $4 million in Google.org grants and loans, and over $9 million in Ad grants and credits for governments and businesses.
In 2018, Google launched 'Maharat min Google', a digital skills training program, which to date has been completed by one million Arabic speakers in MENA.
According to the Arab Monetary Fund, around 6 million jobs are now at risk in the Arab world, and the most in-demand jobs in the region require applied digital skills.