Tag Archives: grow with google

Grow your veteran-led business with digital tools

Running a small business can be great second career after serving in the military. As a U.S. Army veteran, I would know. In addition to my role at Google helping small businesses get found online, I also co-own an occupational therapy practice with my wife in Kirkland, Washington.

We were one of the first small businesses to add the “Veteran-Led” attribute to our business profile on Google My Business after it was introduced last August. It’s a simple way to share a piece of the personal history behind our business with fellow veterans and people in my community. Since then, thousands of veteran-led businesses across the U.S. have added the attribute to their business profiles, including Old School Boxing and Fitness Center in San Diego, California, and Honest Soul Yoga in Alexandria, Virginia.

At Propel Electric Bikes in Brooklyn, New York, owner and U.S. Army veteran Chris Nolte uses the attribute to help his veteran-led business stand out on Google Search and Maps. And with Google Ads, Chris is able to put his bikes in front of potential customers in New York and across the country. With support from digital tools like these, he’s successfully grown his business, even opening a second location in California.

Now, in honor of National Veterans Small Business Week, Grow with Google is introducing a resource hub where veterans like Chris can find products, tools, and programs to start or grow their businesses. Here’s a preview of what you’ll find there.

Almost one in four transitioning service members have an interest in starting their own business. So to make it simpler for veterans to grow their business and marketing skills, the Primer app offers quick, easy-to-understand lessons that they can access from anywhere. The lessons offer helpful tips on topics like creating a business plan, increasing sales, managing finances, and more. Primer also offers custom mini-courses tailored to veterans and military spouses that you can find by searching “veteranled” or “milspousebiz” in the app.

This National Veterans Small Business Week, we’re also inviting veteran business owners to a livestream workshop focused on growing a small business. Viewers will learn how Google My Business can help an entrepreneur establish a local online presence, build a loyal customer base, show off products or services and drive online and physical traffic to their business. We’ll also be joined by the California Veterans Business Outreach Center, a program from the Small Business Administration, to hear more about their offerings for veteran-owned businesses. Tune in on YouTube for Tuesday’s livestream workshop.

When I was making my own transition to civilian life in 2013, I looked to fellow veterans for career guidance. As a Googler and a business owner myself, I’m proud to help fellow veteran-led businesses find new online resources to grow.

3 ways veterans can maximize their civilian job search

In 2007, I made the transition to civilian life after serving in the military for five years. Though I was sure my experience as an engineer in the U.S Army would be valuable to employers, I had far less experience writing a resume that would appeal to recruiters hiring for civilian jobs. It’s easy to find an email template online of what a resume should look like, but translating what you did in the military to civilian speak is a real challenge.

To support service members who are preparing for their own transitions to civilian careers, Grow with Google teamed up with experts from the Center for Veteran Transition and Integration at Columbia University and FourBlock. Together, we created new Applied Digital Skills lessons designed to help veterans find a job and succeed in the civilian workforce.

The job search begins with a resume, so let’s start there. If you’re a veteran looking to transition to the civilian workforce, here are three tips for creating or updating your resume for your job search.

1. Search for civilian job postings that interest you.

You can find job listings that call for skills you developed during your time in service by searching “jobs for veterans” on Google Search and entering your military occupation code (MOS, AFSC, NEC or rating). Watch this quick video lesson for more on finding civilian job listings related to your military experience.

2. Decide which military experience to include on your resume. 

When editing your resume, it’s important to write about your experience in a way that civilian recruiters will be able to understand. This includes highlighting traits you exhibited while fulfilling military duties, and replacing military-specific terms (think: your military occupation code) with words or phrases civilian employers will understand. For example, you might consider changing a term like “combat operations” to something that may be more likely to resonate with hiring managers, like “high-risk environment.”  Learn more about choosing military experiences to feature on your resume.

3. Update your resume to fit the job. 

To increase your chances of landing an interview, you’ll want to tailor your resume to fit the job description. This shows a recruiter that you have experience with the specific job they’re hiring for, even if your job title in the military was different. You can also tailor your skills section to the job listing, and highlight relevant coursework, certifications, or awards. Go deeper on tailoring your resume to a specific job listing.

To get more hands-on digital skills training to support you in your job search, check out our full Applied Digital Skills curriculum designed and curated for transitioning service members and veterans. And to learn more about Grow with Google’s free products, tools, and trainings for transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses, visit grow.google/veterans.

How we can help more American small businesses export

Technology has made it easier than ever before for small businesses to find new customers abroad. That’s been the experience for Ryan McFarland in South Dakota, who started Strider Bikes in 2007 after inventing a pedal-free bicycle for his young son. He’s since sold more than 2.5 million bikes to customers in 78 countries, and international sales account for over half of the company’s business. Through products and tools like Google Ads, YouTubeand Market Finder, small businesses like Strider Bikes are finding new markets and building relationships with customers around the world.

Still, we know that a majority of small businesses currently do not export their products, and many that do export continue to find it a difficult process. That’s where technology can come in -- helping small businesses access international markets that present great opportunity.

To better understand the opportunities and gaps for small businesses, we commissioned a study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Brunswick Research on small business exports. We wanted to dig deeper into the role small businesses play in U.S. export success, the challenges they face in exporting and the ways new technologies and policy approaches can support them. Their new report, “Growing Small Business Exports: How Technology Strengthens American Trade,” comes out today. 

Researchers surveyed more than 3,800 small businesses across the country to estimate the current and potential impact of small business exports on the U.S. economy. A few highlights: Small business exports support more than six million jobs across all 50 states, and add over $540 billion annually to the American economy. Still, there’s a huge opportunity for more small businesses to sell overseas. If policymakers and the business community can help small companies overcome some of the challenges of exporting—like language barriers, customs issues and payment challenges—we could create nearly 900,000 additional jobs in the U.S. 

Modernizing and updating trade policy is key to unlocking exports for small businesses. But better use of technology also plays a critical role. The survey found that the majority of non-exporting small businesses—more than 70 percent—aren’t familiar with digital tools that could help them reach global customers. Tools like translation services, digital marketing and advertising and online payment platforms can help small businesses reach beyond their local markets. 

Based on these findings, the report offers a few recommendations, including:

    • Develop a collaborative initiative between the federal government, state governments, the private sector and others to train and assist U.S. small businesses in using technology for exporting. This approach would modernize export promotion tools while driving coordination between the numerous federal and state export agencies that have a stake in helping small businesses engage in trade. 
    • Encourage innovators and technology providers to build new digital tools—and broaden awareness of existing tools—that address barriers facing small business exporters. Today, only 20 percent of small businesses use digital tools to export. By increasing awareness of these resources, we can set small businesses up for success.
    • Building on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), policymakers should prioritize additional market-opening trade agreements that benefit small business exporters, including through high-standard rules in areas such as digital trade and the removal of non-tariff barriers that disproportionately affect small businesses.

    At Google, small businesses have always been a top priority of ours. (In fact, the first company to sign up for our ads platform was a small business -- a mail-order lobster business from Maine!) By doing our part to lower barriers to exporting, we can help small businesses grow overseas and bring jobs and economic opportunities back to their communities. It’s crucial that policymakers across federal, state and local governments work with large and small businesses to meet this opportunity.

    Boys & Girls Clubs help teens build new digital skills

    When I was a kid growing up in Wilmington, North Carolina, I spent almost every afternoon at the Brigade Boys & Girls Club. Each day, I’d head to the Club to get homework help, hang out with my friends and participate in tons of programming. Club leaders even pushed me to try basketball, a sport I went on to play through college. And as I got older, I turned to the Club for help making meaningful decisions about college and life beyond high school. 

    So much has changed since I attended the Boys & Girls Club. Now more than ever, young people need guidance to gain life skills that can help them become thriving adults. And in today’s job market, digital skills are especially crucial life skills. For more than 600,000 teens across the country, it’s the talented staff at the Boys & Girls Clubs who provide this support.

    One of those outstanding staff members is Basha Terry. “Ms. Basha,” as Club kids call her, is a youth development professional for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta in Grenada, Mississippi–one of more than 4,600 locations in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s network. It’s part of Basha’s job to help teens build digital skills critical to success later in life, but it can be difficult to find resources that are both effective and engaging. So she was intrigued when she learned about Applied Digital Skills through a pilot program between Grow with Google and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

    Boys and Girls Clubs of America 2

    As a youth development professional for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta in Grenada, Mississippi, Basha Terry helps the teens in her Club get the most out of Applied Digital Skills.

    Applied Digital Skills is an online curriculum that uses video-based lessons to teach young people the digital skills they’ll need for college and the workforce. These lessons guide Club members through subjects like online safety, sending professional emails, creating a budget and more. Through the program, more than 1,200 teens in six Clubs across the U.S. are using the curriculum.


    Jadon is one of the many Club teens using Applied Digital Skills to learn valuable computer skills.

    In Basha's Club, teens are devouring the Applied Digital Skills lessons. Recently, 14-year-old Z’Quan took a lesson on tracking his monthly expenses and mastered spreadsheets in the process. And Jadon, also 14,  used his newfound skills to research and design a presentation on engineering—his dream career.

    Basha’s investment in teaching teens digital skills is part of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s commitment to helping youth across the country prepare for jobs. Harnessing what we’ve learned from the six Clubs in our pilot program, we’re now expanding the opportunity to activate Applied Digital Skills in the 4,600 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide. We’ll provide support to help them integrate these lessons into their existing programs to help teens get ready for the workforce. A group of these Clubs will also receive Made by Google devices to help Club teens take full advantage of digital tools.

    Today, we’re in my home state of North Carolina at the Boys & Girls Club serving Wake County in Raleigh and we’ll visit Clubs from the pilot program to host live Applied Digital Skills workshops, where Club teens will learn to write resumes, search for jobs online and practice interviewing. They’ll also meet with a few of my fellow Club alumni from here at Google.

    I know firsthand that Clubs will do whatever it takes to ensure teens have every opportunity to build the skills they need. It’s a goal we share–through Grow with Google, our initiative to create economic opportunity for all Americans, we offer free training to help people grow their skills, careers or businesses. The need for this kind of training is on the rise: A recent analysis found that digital skills are the second-fastest growing category of workforce skills people will need by 2030. We stand with organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs to inspire and enable young people with resources to prepare for jobs, and get ahead.

    Learn to code with Grasshopper, now on desktop

    We created Grasshopper to increase access to coding education and to help prepare people for career opportunities in tech. As part of our Grow with Google initiative to create economic opportunity for everyone, today we’re announcing that Grasshopper is now available on desktop, with additional courses to help you build new coding skills. 

    Grasshopper on desktop

    Learn in a whole new way

    Millions of people have used their phones to access Grasshopper's coding lessons from wherever they're located. To support people who prefer to learn on larger screens, starting today, the same Grasshopper beginner-centered learning environment will be accessible on desktop or laptop computers.

    We’ve also introduced two new classes specifically designed for your laptop or desktop: Using a Code Editor and Intro to Webpages.

    Our Intro to Webpages course includes a new project-based curriculum focused on building and designing a website from the ground up. We teach beginner coders the Javascript fundamentals necessary to build a website, as well as new HTML and CSS-based coursework. After just four courses, beginner coders will understand how to build a simple webpage.

    Follow your own path

    Since the launch of our app in April 2018, more than two million people have used Grasshopper to grow their coding skills. Grasshopper students include stay-at-home parents, construction workers and factory machinists–people who don’t necessarily have programming experience, but who are interested in exploring coding as a career option. 

    For instance, Sheila Eichenberger was looking for her next move when she found Grasshopper. As a mother who had stepped away from a successful career to raise her kids, she was ready to return to the workplace. But, she wanted to try something new. So Sheila started using Grasshopper to explore coding as a career path. 

    Now Sheila’s taking the next steps in her journey towards becoming a developer. “Completing the Grasshopper curriculum gave me the confidence to move forward with the pursuit of a coding career," she says.

    As we celebrate Ada Lovelace Day and the achievements of women in science, technology and engineering, we will continue working to help everyone learn to code and to pursue their career dreams. If you’re ready to start learning to code, Grasshopper is available on Android, iOS, and on desktop in English.

    Support for job seekers and businesses across the U.S.

    We believe that Google only succeeds when others do. So whenever we’re expanding a local office or breaking ground on a data center, we think about how we can invest in the community as a whole. That includes the people who live in the community, the teachers and students in the local schools and the small businesses that form the backbone of the local economy. To help drive this work, two years ago we launched our Grow with Google initiative to ensure that the opportunities created by technology are truly available to everyone. Since then, we’ve formed partnerships and introduced programs to create economic opportunity for people in all 50 states and around the world.

    Today I was thrilled to be able to return to one of those states—Texas—where Google has been operating since 2007. In June, we announced a series of new investments to expand our presence in Austin and broke ground on a new data center in Midlothian as part of our $13 billion investment in data center and office expansions across the U.S. We’ve also made recent investments to expand our offices in Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Minnesota and Massachusetts, and data centers in Virginia and Nebraska.

    In addition to growing our footprint in communities across the U.S., we’re making investments in America’s workers. This morning we visited El Centro College in Dallas to announce the expansion of our Google IT Support Professional Certificate program. The program is currently offered at 30 community colleges and will be available for students in 100 community colleges throughout the U.S. by the end of 2020.

    For many people, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate is the first step to getting a well-paying job in a high-growth field. (As proof of the fast growth, when we first announced the certificate in 2017, there were 150,000 open IT jobs in the U.S. Now there are closer to 215,000.) We’ve also created a consortium of employers who are eager to hire these graduates.  

    More than 5.7 million students are enrolled in U.S. community colleges—40 percent of whom are the first in their families to attend college. These schools play a vital role in creating economic opportunities for the people they serve, and we're excited to be a part of that with the IT Support Professional Certificate program.

    While in Texas today, we were joined by Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump to talk about Google’s commitment to providing Americans with skills training through Grow with Google. Google is proud to join more than 350 other American companies in signing the White House’s “Pledge to America’s Workers,” and committing to training more than 250,000 Americans to help them prepare for new jobs. 

    We’re also helping small businesses to succeed and thrive. In 2018, Google helped provide $335 billion of economic activity for more than 1.3 million businesses, website publishers and nonprofits nationwide, including $20.8 billion of economic activity in Texas alone. Today we met with several of these businesses to hear how they’ve used Google products and services to grow and export their goods to customers around the world.

    Peacock Alley is a small textile business based in Dallas. Its founder Mary Ella Gabler has used Google Ads for more than 15 years, which has enabled the company to sell its bedding direct to consumers and grow exponentially. We also met the founders of an app that connects salon and barbershop owners to customers where 30 percent of users found the app via Google Ads. And we talked with the owner of a commercial kitchen cleaning company who attracts 90 percent of his customers with Google Ads in English and Spanish.

    To help more businesses like this succeed, Google.org will be making a $10 million pledge to help low-income and underrepresented entrepreneurs start new businesses via access to training and capital. The first grant will be a $2 million contribution to the American Library Association to support entrepreneurship centers at libraries in 10 states and help libraries across the country to develop new offerings for small business creators. 

    From small business partnerships to education initiatives, we continue to make it a priority to invest in the communities where we live and work, and beyond.

    How we’re helping small businesses succeed

    Owning a small business often means wearing many hats, and I know this firsthand. When I started my winery, I found I was not only a winemaker but also an accountant, marketer, sales person and tech support provider all at once. There was never enough time! Now that I’m at Google, I apply the lessons I learned every day as our team works to build products and solutions designed to meet the needs of small businesses.

    Starting a small business can be a pathway to economic prosperity for both business owners and their communities. In fact, 67 cents out of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the local economy. Through our products like Search and Google Ads and Grow with Google, our initiative to create economic opportunity across the U.S., we’re committed to helping small businesses succeed. Being online is the way to win. Today we are releasing a new report that shows how Americans are searching for local businesses, and I can tell you that there is tremendous momentum. In fact, we’ve seen 350 times more search interest in "local" + "near me" than there was 10 years ago. 

    To deepen our commitment to small businesses, Google.org is making a $10 million pledge to help low-income and underrepresented entrepreneurs start new businesses via access to training and capital.

    Almost half of all libraries in the U.S. provide assistance to entrepreneurs looking to start a business of their own. That’s why the first grant will benefit the American Library Association (ALA) to support entrepreneurship centers at 10 libraries and to help libraries across the U.S. develop new offerings for small business owners. The grant will also support the ALA’s efforts to develop a guide for libraries on building their own entrepreneurship programs, including recommendations for better serving entrepreneurs from diverse communities and underrepresented backgrounds. This grant builds on our ongoing support for libraries, including the $1 million in funding that Grow with Google gave ALA earlier this year to help libraries across the U.S. provide communities with digital skills. The collaboration has already supported 130 libraries across 18 states and will continue to all 50 states. We are proud to be continuing our work with this important organization.

    Google.org’s $10 million pledge is not the only way we’re investing in the success of American small businesses. In June, we introduced Google for Small Business - a website that offers free personalized plans for small businesses so they know which Google tools will help them reach more customers and work more efficiently. 

    This work is important to me, both in my role at Google and as a former small business owner. Today, I’m back in my hometown of Dallas, Texas to share this news and to see some of Texas’s finest small business owners in action.

    As a Googler, Texas native, woman and former small business owner, I am so proud to work alongside entrepreneurs and help American small businesses find new success in the 21st century. 

    Take a look at our report below to check out how people across the U.S. are searching for small businesses.

    Small Business Infographic

    Our IT Support Certificate comes to 100 community colleges

    For Melinda Williams, a cosmetology teacher and salon owner in Ohio, the Google IT Support Professional Certificate has been the first step on the path to a new career. Launched in January 2018 as part of our Grow with Google initiative to create economic opportunity for all, the program has helped more than 85,000 people prepare for entry-level jobs in IT support with no experience or college degree necessary. Melinda always loved computers, so she enrolled in the program through North Central State College in Mansfield, Ohio. She completed the program in just five months, and now she’s ready to see where her newfound skills will take her. “I believe it’s never too late to go in a new direction,” she says.

    Melinda is one of many people who have earned a certificate through one of the 30 community colleges where the program is offered today. As the demand for qualified job candidates increases, we’re excited to announce that JFF, with support from Google.org, is expanding the program to 100 U.S. community colleges by the end of 2020. With more than 5.7 million students enrolled in U.S. community colleges, these schools play a vital role in creating economic opportunities.

    We’re also making it simpler for colleges to grant credits to people who earn the certificate. The program recently secured a credit recommendation from the American Council on Education’s ACE CREDIT®, which is the industry standard for translating workplace learning to college credit. Now those who complete the program can earn a recommended 12 college credits—the equivalent of four college courses at the associate degree level. 

    As we prepare for the future, we’re also looking back at the program’s first year through our inaugural Google IT Support Professional Certificate Impact Report. We’ve learned that the program makes a noticeable impact on careers–84 percent of people reported a career impact within six months, like getting a raise, finding a new job or starting a new business. The program also successfully reaches underrepresented people–60 percent of participants identify as female, Black, Latino or veteran. Reaching underserved populations was an important goal for us, so we’re excited about that progress. And on average, people earn their certificates in under six months, which breaks down to about five hours of coursework per week. Read the full report to learn more.

    With support from Google and grants from Google.org, community colleges are helping people like Melinda build careers they’re passionate about. Representatives from community colleges who are interested in the IT Support Professional Certificate can visit grow.google/communitycolleges to learn more.

    Celebrating World Teachers’ Day on Manitoulin Island

    This World Teachers’ Day, we’re shining a spotlight on a special Canadian teacher who is using CS First, a Grow with Google curriculum for elementary and middle school students, in the classroom. Our guest author is April Aelick, who teaches grade 8 at Little Current Public School, which is part of the Rainbow District School Board on Manitoulin Island.

    Having taught for almost seventeen years on Manitoulin Island -- at the same school I attended from kindergarten to grade 8, no less -- I know how challenging it is to keep students engaged and excited in class.

    That’s why I was so happy to come across CS First, Google’s free computer science curriculum that makes coding easy for teachers to share and fun for students to learn. Earlier this year, I signed up for an evening workshop to learn CS First, with the hopes of being able to introduce it to my grade eight students.
    At the workshop, I learned about an interesting concept called ‘computational thinking’. It’s a systematic approach to solving problems through data that is at the foundation of computer science and can be applied to many other subject areas -- and careers -- that intersect with technology.

    As a teacher in a rural community, I can see how CS First will allow my students the opportunity to explore ways in which computer science can fit into their interests and possibly lead them down a career path they didn’t consider before. '

    Ask any student or teacher, grade 8 can be a difficult age to engage students in something new. Many students are self-conscious and are reluctant to take risks. They can also get frustrated when things don’t go right. Often, they think the easy way out is to just quit.

    CS First uses computational thinking to teach students not just hard skills, like coding, but the soft skills they need to be successful in life.
    Recently, one of my students worked very hard on a CS First project and, well, had a “tech fail”. His entire project was lost, and he was very disappointed to say the least. While some students would easily give up, this student went right back to work, rewatched the tutorials online and created something even better than before. CS First helped teach the class a great lesson that day, beyond just learning how to code: there will inevitably be “tech fails”, and it is how you overcome these problems that will help you succeed in life.

    The beauty of CS First is that it is so accessible to all students. There is no requirement for peripheral materials. I am lucky that my students have 1:1 access to Chromebooks, but even if a class didn’t have this option, it can still be used effectively with offline lessons.

    I think if you’re a teacher interested in expanding computer science into your classroom, give CS First a try, you’ve got nothing to lose! The amount of problem-solving and willingness to take risks I have witnessed so far from my students has been worth it. Even teachers who are not comfortable with coding can find success in their classrooms.

    Education opens doors for people that may be otherwise shut. It is my goal to expose my students to as many opportunities as I can so they don’t feel limited by their circumstances or geographic location. I teach amazing students that will have big impact in our world, and I want them to recognize that.

    Editor’s note: Want to see CS First in action? Watch this video featuring an elementary school from Waterloo! If you’re interested in CS First, check out our website for how to get started.

    A new tool to help Italian companies grow with AI

    Saccheria Franceschetti, a family business based in Brescia, Italy, has seen a lot of change in the 80 years since it was founded. Originally set up to produce bags from old fabric, it has now adopted 21st-century solutions like artificial intelligence to keep its competitive edge. As the third largest distributor of flexible packaging in Europe today, the 50-employee business uses AI to optimize its warehouses and logistics, and to monitor business processes in real time.

    At Google, we’re inspired by the tech savvy of companies like Saccheria Franceschetti, and we think there are thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses in Italy that could benefit from the same knowledge. That’s why Google has collaborated with the School of Management of the Politecnico University of Milan to develop Machine Learning Checkup, a free tool that enables companies to evaluate their readiness for artificial intelligence, and to understand how to make the most of the solutions offered by this technology.

    For Saccheria Franceschetti, adopting AI solutions has been well worth the effort. Its revenues have grown from €16 million in 2015 to almost €20 million in 2019, and its profit margins have doubled. And, as an unexpected bonus, it’s getting substantially fewer customer complaints.

    Artificial intelligence is also an important tool for Agrintesa, a farming cooperative in Faenza serving 4,000 small- and medium-sized farms. AI-powered image recognition helps the business sort part of their 440,000 tons of produce a year, quickly categorizing fruits by size, quality, shape and imperfections. In the two years since introducing AI, Agrintesa has sped up its processes and improved product quality. People at the company say the changes have made customers happier, and Agrintesa expects to see a 10 percent increase in profit margins within two years.

    Agrintesa uses visual recognition to sort its fruit production.

    Agrintesa uses visual recognition to sort its fruit production.

    Companies that use the new Machine Learning Checkup will receive a customized report laying out the potential benefits and best applications of AI. The tool also helps businesses take practical next steps toward implementation: Along with the report, it points them to free dedicated consultant services through their local chambers of commerce, and financial incentives to invest in their businesses from the Ministry of Economic Development.

    We’ve focused on the industries with the greatest potential for AI in Italy: agriculture, livestock farming, textiles, furniture, mechanics and iron and steel. The most effective applications come from the areas of sound and image recognition—like what Agrintesa is doing to sort produce—and predictive analytics, which can help with things like optimizing planting and harvesting times. For some areas of agriculture and farming, the research we commissioned has identified potential savings of up to 80 percent.

    There are many areas of business where AI can bring important benefits—from packaging logistics to produce selection—and we’re proud to be able to partner with Italian companies to help figure out what works for them. It’s part of our commitment to developing tools to ensure that everyone can access artificial intelligence.