Google revealed the launch of applications for the 2024 cohort of its renowned Hustle Academy. This program, specially designed to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Sub-Saharan Africa, aims to accelerate their growth trajectory significantly.

The application process is now open for SMEs based in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, offering them a golden opportunity to participate in a transformative journey that runs throughout the year.

One of the key highlights of this year’s program is the integration of business-focused AI training directly into the curriculum. This enhancement is poised to revolutionize how SMEs approach business development, leveraging cutting-edge technologies to drive innovation and efficiency.

In a statement, Google emphasized the vital role SMEs play in Africa’s economy and acknowledged the challenges many face in accessing funding and acquiring essential business skills. Quoting data from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Google highlighted that 40% of formal SMBs in developing nations have an unmet funding need of $5.2 trillion annually.

The Hustle Academy is positioned as a solution to bridge this gap, offering a comprehensive package of business education, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Since its inception in 2022, over 10,000 businesses have already benefited from this initiative.

Google’s Head of B2B Marketing for sub-Saharan Africa, Kristy Grant, emphasized the transformative potential of integrating AI into business operations. Grant highlighted how AI can drive innovation, enhance efficiency, and unlock new levels of economic growth for African SMEs.

Grant stated, “The Hustle Academy has supported over 10,000 businesses who have gone ahead to raise funding and create jobs since inception. By incorporating AI into our curriculum, we aim to further amplify this impact, equipping SMBs to harness AI technologies for improved business performance and economic progress.”

This move not only underscores Google’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship in Africa but also signals a significant leap forward in leveraging technology to empower SMEs and drive economic advancement across the region.

Click here to apply

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