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Google to award Nigerian SMBs N75 million through Hustle Academy Fund

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Google has announced the opening of applications for the Hustle Academy SMB Fund, a N75 million equity-free fund dedicated to amplifying the ambitions of Nigerian Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs).

The initiative will be offering N5 million to 15 Nigerian small business owners, as part of Google’s commitment to cultivating entrepreneurial growth in Nigeria.

The funding is premised on the fact small businesses form the backbone of Nigeria’s economy, yet they consistently grapple with challenges, notably the perennial obstacle of securing vital funding.

The World Bank has also observed that African SMBs face a staggering financial gap of $330 billion. Additionally, only 25% of SMBs in Africa have access to bank loans, a percentage that sharply contrasts with the 50% observed in developed economies.

Commenting on the initiative, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Head of Brand & Reputation, Sub Saharan Africa at Google, said:

Echoing the sentiment, Sinmisola Nojimu-Yusuf, Product Marketing Manager and the Hustle Academy Program Lead at Google said:

To be eligible for the Hustle Academy SMB Fund, Google said businesses must be Nigerian-founded, operating within Nigeria for 1-5 years, and have a clear and scalable business plan.

They should have a track record of commitment to growth, operate in sectors aligned with the digital economy or have a digital enablement strategy, and, while not mandatory, previous participation in the Hustle Academy program is an added advantage.

Applications for the Hustle Academy Fund are open September 28 and will close on October 12th.

Google’s Hustle Academy, introduced in 2022, provides SMEs with business and management education, mentoring, and networking, with a particular emphasis on preparing them to package their businesses in order to raise the necessary capital to take their businesses to the next level.

Since its inception, the program has graduated over 4,000 SMBs in Nigeria, with a notable 74% from the first year reporting marked business growth.

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