Google has announced 1,000 scholarships in Kenya for small businesses in the country to open online shops. Reports from the global tech giant said that the new development is part of a month-long commemoration of International SMEs day this month.

Google will be working with Coursera, an open online course provider, to develop an online certificate course in digital marketing and e-commerce.

“E-commerce presents an opportunity for small businesses in Kenya to reach new customers and grow,” said Agnes Gathaiya, Google Country Director for Kenya and East Africa.

“Through the digital marketing and e-commerce career certificates, and specialized training to our 1,000 SMB scholarship beneficiaries, we want to assist small businesses in Africa gain the expertise to connect online, expand their customer base, and scale up,” Gathaiya added.

Gathaiya said that this development will see more expansion in e-commerce in Africa. Kenya saw a growth of 44% in e-commmerce in 2021.

“As more consumers on the continent continue to search for goods and services online, it is critical that small retail businesses learn how to better harness online tools for growth,” she said.

Google has a number of free courses to push digital knowledge in Africa, some of which include Google Analytics and Digital Marketing. These courses are mostly based on growing small businesses in the wake of the digitalised world. The skills that Google offers train business owners on how to market themselves, how to keep track of their growth, and finally how to use data to target customers.

Another initiative underway this June is the free, one-week-long Hustle Academy that will equip small and medium-sized retail businesses (SMBs) with the essential skills they need to grow.

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