A total of 5 300 African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) graduated from the Google Hustle Academy bootcamp this year.
The announcement was made yesterday, during a graduation event for participants of the initiative, with Google Africa broadcasting the ceremony in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
The Google Hustle Academy was launched in 2022 and serves as a free learning platform for SMEs. It has trained over 10 300 SMEs since it was established, says Google Africa.
The initiative provides training modules in various topics, such as business strategy, business development, digital marketing, financial planning and how to draw up successful pitches.
Dr Alistair Mokoena, country director of Google South Africa, said the determination and growth exhibited by the SMEs is commendable.
“The Hustle Academy programme stands as a beacon of what practical training and resource provision can accomplish. Today's graduation is not only a celebration of their hard work, but also an acknowledgment of their role in enriching the South African business environment,” added Mokoena.
During the event, Google also unveiled the Hustle Academy Impact Report, which the company says was developed to quantify the programme’s success and reinforce its commitment to the economic development of the region.
Key findings include that 80% of entrepreneurs who completed the Hustle Academy reported experiencing revenue growth, with an average creation of four jobs for every 10 businesses − a significant boost to employment, with a mix of permanent and contract roles.
The report also shows a substantial shift in how the programme graduates fund their businesses, with those accessing new funding sources nearly doubling from 11% to 20% post-programme.
Lufuno Rasoesoe, founder of South African-based business TOSH Detergents, said the training he received through the academy has been incredibly beneficial.
“The academy offered us concrete tools and strategies specifically tailored for businesses like ours. We've been able to improve our operational efficiency and better understand the dynamics of the South African market, which has been vital for our growth and ability to innovate within our means,” concluded Rasoesoe.