Google and USAID Partner to Expand Hustle Academy in Kenya

Google and the USAID eTrade Alliance have joined forces in a significant collaboration aimed at expanding the reach of the Hustle Academy Program in Kenya. Their shared mission is to empower 2,500 Small and Medium Businesses [SMBs] in the country with critical resources and digital tools, fostering their growth over an 18-month period. With this partnership, the total number of SMBs trained in Kenya will rise to an impressive 3,700.

Small businesses play a vital role in the African economy, yet they often face challenges due to a lack of essential resources and expert knowledge needed for expansion. In response to this issue, Google launched the Hustle Academy in 2022. The academy is dedicated to providing SMBs across Sub-Saharan Africa with the necessary skills, tools, and knowledge to harness digital technology and secure funding for their growth.

The program’s effectiveness lies in its 5-day bootcamp, which offers hands-on training and actionable advice to participants. The curriculum covers key areas such as business strategy, sales enhancement, digital marketing, financial planning, and successful pitching techniques. Through a strategic collaboration with the USAID eTrade Alliance, the program also integrates capabilities in ecommerce, creating a cohesive and practical learning journey. This equips SMBs with the tools they need to develop growth plans, devise effective digital marketing strategies, access funding opportunities, pitch successfully to investors, and leverage the power of online selling.

During the Jamhuri Day celebrations in 2022, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya, William S. Ruto, praised the Hustle Academy, acknowledging Google’s understanding of the entrepreneurial spirit and the thirst for knowledge among aspiring entrepreneurs in Kenyan society. He commended Google for its visionary approach and unwavering commitment to supporting and uplifting Kenyan entrepreneurs. The President emphasized that the Hustle Academy exemplifies the transformative power of public-private partnerships, creating a vibrant ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurship and propels Kenya toward a brighter future for all.

In its first year of launch, the Hustle Academy achieved impressive results, with over 5,000 SMBs graduating from the program, and a remarkable 74% of them reporting significant business growth post-bootcamp. Agnes Gathaiya, the Country Director for Google in East Africa, expressed confidence in the partnership with the USAID e-Trade Alliance, stating that it would further augment this impact, with a special focus on harnessing e-commerce to catalyze a robust digital economy across Kenya.

The sentiments were echoed by Michael Poor, the USAID eTrade Alliance Sr. Manager for Africa Programs, who expressed pride in launching the Google Hustle Academy eCommerce program in Kenya. He emphasized that this partnership with Google’s Hustle Academy aligns with the Alliance’s core mandate to promote economic growth for MSMEs through digital commerce and trade, demonstrating their commitment to delivering on their goals.

As the program enters its second year, the partnership is set to amplify its positive impact by graduating an additional 2,500 Kenyan small businesses over the course of 18 months. This endeavor aims to create a robust and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kenya, further driving economic growth and empowerment in the region.

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