Tag Archives: grow with google

Celebrating the 2018 DT50 Awards winners

This year, we joined forces again with McKinsey & Company and Rocket Internet to celebrate entrepreneurship in Europe through the second Digital Top 50 (DT50) awards. As part of our Grow with Google initiative to provide people with new digital opportunities, the DT50 awards recognize innovative European startups and scale-up business. The awards are given under the patronage of Mr. Carlos Moedas, Member of the European Commission, and supported by strategic partners INSEAD, Ashoka and Tech Open Air. 

With five awards across B2B and B2C categories, as well as a Tech for Social Impact category, this year’s winners were chosen through a rigorous three-part selection process—60 percent jury selection vote, 20 percent public vote online, and 20 percent jury vote in the final live pitches at the Tech Open Air Berlin event last month. 

We’re pleased to congratulate this year’s winners:

  • Winner B2B Startup:​Dashmote ​(Netherlands). Dashmote is an AI-powered platform that turns images into actionable market insights, identifying trends and increasing brand performance in both product development and marketing.

  • Winner B2B Scaleup:CornerJob ​(Spain). CornerJob is a mobile job matching platform that enables users to find geolocated job offers, providing a fast and simple recruitment process for both job seekers and employers.

  • Winner B2C Startup: Kaia Health ​(Germany). Kaia Health is a digital therapeutics company that uses AI-powered motion tracking technology through mobile apps to give people access to clinically proven back pain therapy.

  • Winner B2C Scaleup:​ TWINO ​(Latvia). TWINO is a marketplace lender and investment platform, and the first to introduce Peer-to-Peer lending to emerging markets such as Russia and Kazakhstan.

  • Winner Tech for Social Impact:​ Madaster ​(Netherlands). Madaster is an international public platform facilitating Material Passports, which track building resources in the real estate sector with the aim of minimizing waste, reducing the cost of material consumption and facilitating the reuse of materials.

Each of the 2018 winners will receive a prize package to help them increase business visibility and develop their brand, including workshops, invitations to exclusive events, consulting support and 1:1 mentoring sessions. Madaster, the winner of the Tech for Social Impact category, was awarded an additional cash prize of 50,000 euros.

The five winners this year all demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit and unique use of technology. It's precisely this kind of digital trailblazing that inspires our Grow with Google programs—and fuels our commitment to helping businesses and individuals grow and succeed in this promising digital climate.

Europe Code Week is here

Computer science fosters innovation, critical thinking and empowers students with the skills to create tools that solve major challenges. Yet there aren’t enough students who have access to opportunities to develop their technical skills. As part of our commitmentto help 1 million Europeans find a job or grow their business by 2020, we also need to invest in equipping the upcoming generation with the skills needed to master the jobs of the future. To do this, we’re encouraging students to get involved in and inspired by computer science. For the fifth year, we’re happy to be participating in Europe Code Week, a grassroots movement that encourages programming by showing how to bring ideas to life with code, demystifying computer science skills and bringing motivated people together to learn.

Part of our involvement in Code Week is providing funding to organizations who want to run computer science initiatives that give young people (aged 5-18) a chance to engage with some hands-on learning opportunities. Last year we funded 60 initiatives in 33 countries, giving over 56,000 students the chance to experience CS as part of these efforts. Organizations can apply for a grant of up to 8,000 EUR—please find details and the application form on the Code Week site.

Lithuania Association “Langas į ateitį” (1).JPG

In Europe Code Week 2017, Association “Langas į ateitį” (Lithuania) organized seven events which introduced 460+ students to coding and trained 19 teachers. As a result, Kurmaičiai primary school initiated after-school IT activities for children and a monthly Micro Bit activity with a local robotics school.

Looking for some fun coding resources? Check out CS First, our free video-based coding curriculum for students ages 9-14. No coding experience required!

Building the workforce of the future: key learnings from Grow with Google

The world is rapidly digitizing, presenting huge opportunities for growth and jobs. However, many people in Europe and beyond lack the skills to take advantage of this. Inspired by the European Commission’s call for ideas to address this challenge—we committed to help, launching Grow with Google three years ago. Since then more than 4 million people in Europe and 3 million people in Africa have been through our programs, and in Europe, Grow with Google has created more than 220,000 new jobs or business opportunities. This March, we renewed our commitment to the EU Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, with a pledge to help a further one million people in Europe find a job or grow their business by 2020.

The digital skills challenge is one that many organizations and governments are focused on, and we want to share what we’ve learned. We asked the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) to independently review Grow with Google's approach to digital skills training. They looked at six countries: France, Germany, Italy, Nigeria, Spain and Sweden. Here’s what they found:

Partnership between companies, government and civil society is vital.

Our partnerships with governments, city councils, universities, private-sector businesses and nonprofits have enabled us to gain trust with participants, learn from others' expertise, and increase the reach and relevance of our programs. In Italy, Crescere in Digitale, a partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Chamber of Commerce, has initiated more than 3,000 internships for young unemployed people at SMBs to date. About 30 percent of those who completed internships are now employed.

Programs must be tailored to meet local contexts and needs.

A “one size fits all” format is unlikely to work well. Programs need to be designed to meet national needs and often work best when there is scope for further local tailoring. Grow with Google is localized in each country, working with local partners, to maximize relevance and results. In Spain, where unemployment is the biggest issue affecting youth, we recently launched a digital skills employment program with the government. In Greece, where tourism is the top economic pillar, we’ve partnered with the government to offer free digital skills training to people working in the tourism sector.  

Providing skills for the future is as important as providing skills for immediate use.

Organizations and people need skills to help improve short-term outcomes. However, future-proofing the workforce is as important as bridging the digital skills gap now. As the demand for a specific skill set is continuously changing, we’ve added new components to our trainings, expanding the initial digital marketing modules with new content on privacy and security, as well as soft business skills. In parallel, we always strive to keep our training materials up to date with emerging topics such as machine learning.

Programs should address the needs of a diverse audience and challenge traditional assumptions.

Many people assume that it’s mostly young men who are interested in learning about digital. Our experience has taught us that this is not the case: More than 40 percent of the people who have taken our training so far are women. In Germany, we continue to work with Fraunhofer IAIS on their Open Roberta program, teaching young women how to code. Our trainings are also suitable for a wide range of age groups—from students to pensioners—and challenge the preconception that unemployed people are unlikely to become digital experts. In Sweden we’ve developed training with the National Employment Agency to help unemployed people learn to build a web presence, use Search to find jobs, get tips to enhance their CV, and use social media.

Platform agnosticism is important.

Grow with Google lessons not only cover Google products and services, but also products and tools offered by other providers. This means that the training is as current and relevant to participant needs as possible.

These independent recommendations and others from IPPR are available on IPPR’s website, and will inform our digital skills work going forward. We hope they also provide useful guidance to our partners and other skills providers, governments and NGOs across the region who are all devoted to building the workforce of the future.

A father-son business is creating jobs, and spreading happiness, through socks

In 2016, Mark and John Cronin started a company with a unique mission: spreading happiness through socks. It was inspired by John's love for colorful socks, or what he calls his “crazy socks.” John has Down syndrome, and when he graduated high school, he wanted to go into business with his dad. And so, John’s Crazy Socks was born.

Like many retail businesses, selling socks is a seasonal business. So to expand their customer base year-round, John and Mark turned to advertising online. Since then, the company has soared. They now ship more than 1,500 orders a day to 44 countries and employ 35 people, 16 of whom have different capabilities. The company donates 5 percent of their earnings to the Special Olympics and supports a variety of other charity partners.  

Watch the video to learn more about how John and Mark are spreading happiness through socks, and check out google.com/retail to learn how retail businesses can grow with the help of Google.

The web is working for American businesses: stories of economic impact across the U.S.

The web is making it possible for U.S. businesses to grow and succeed. Digital tools create significant opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses. In fact, digital small businesses are growing faster, reaching more customers and were nearly three times as likely to have created jobs over the previous year.

In 2017, Google’s search and advertising tools helped provide $283 billion of economic activity for businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits across the U.S. Our 2017 Economic Impact Report shares that economic impact state-by-state as well as stories of local businesses that are fueling that growth, creating jobs, and transforming their communities. Here are some of those stories:  

American Hats

After more than three decades of working as a social worker, Georgiette Morgan-Thomas put off her plans for retirement and purchased the S & S Hat Company in Philadelphia, PA when it announced its closure in 2015. She assured the employees that she would fight to keep it alive. Together with her son, Robert, she started American Hats in 2016, and turned to Google’s search and advertising tools to help reinvigorate the business, which was good news for the workers. “People are just flying through the door now, and we’re even shipping across the country,” says Georgiette. “Our employees have been with this factory for 20 to 30 years. They're the original team that made S & S Hat so outstanding in the first place.”

American Hats in Philadelphia, PA

Merz Apothecary

Merz Apothecary in Chicago, IL has been home to a rich collection of unique, hard-to-find goods from all over the world since 1875. “We’re not your traditional pharmacy,” says co-owner Anthony Qaiyum. “We carry everything from natural remedies to grooming products to home fragrances. People always say: ‘If you can’t find it at Merz, you won’t find it anywhere else!’”

Two decades after they took their first online order in 1997, Merz Apothecary has a thriving e-commerce operation serving 35,000 customers a year. The company shares product reviews on their YouTube channel, and special sales via Posts on their Google My Business listings. And with Google Search and AdWords, they reach customers anywhere in the world. Since Anthony joined the family business full-time in 2000, they went from 12 employees to 60. “As the owner of Merz, I feel like I’m the caretaker of a piece of history. And I take that duty very seriously,” says Anthony. “I want to leave this business better and stronger than it was when I joined.”


Merz Apothecary in Chicago, IL

Carousel Designs

Jonathan Hartley’s parents founded Carousel Designs in Douglasville, GA in 1988, manufacturing baby bedding for other retailers. As the cut and sew industry moved overseas, Jonathan realized that the family business would need to innovate in order to stay competitive. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he and his former classmate, Allan Sicat, bought the company in 2007. They began marketing their products directly to consumers, using AdWords to connect with customers and Google Analytics to improve their online shopping experience. Carousel Designs now offers thousands of nursery decor options to customers across the U.S. and Canada, and employs nearly 70 people. “It’s something we’re very proud of,” Allan adds. “Not only being made in the USA, but also being able to create these opportunities right here in Douglasville.”


Carousel Designs in Douglasville, GA

As you can see from these stories, the web is working for American businesses large and small. Check out more stories of businesses growing with the web.

Supporting bold ideas for creating a social safety net

We believe that technology has the power to connect people, create opportunities, and inspire change. But we also understand that changes in technology can mean significant changes in our economy and our society, risking leaving some without the right tools or skill set to adapt. That’s why, as part of our efforts to ensure that technology serves everyone, we’re supporting programs that help people prepare for a new economic future. For example, people can use Grow with Google to acquire the skills they need to get their next job. And Walmart and Google.org recently announced a new partnership to promote new approaches to skill-building.

Learning new skills to find a job or start a business is important, but that’s only the beginning. As we see changes in the labor market—more freelancers, changes in benefits, and declining economic mobility— we need to support new policy ideas. We can go beyond a social safety net to a social “trampoline.” People should be able to bounce back from challenges, reach higher, and feel empowered to take steps to improve their careers and get better, richer and more meaningful jobs.

That is why as part of our $50 million Future of Work initiative, Google.org is announcing $2.5 million in funding to four nonprofit organizations working on innovative solutions to employment. The projects will work with people both inside and outside traditional employment—whether a budding entrepreneur, a freelancer, or someone who’s self-employed—to help them grow their sources of income and flexible benefits. Some of the projects may surprise you; they dive into new territory for us. But we see these grants as the beginning of a conversation on how we can collectively enhance opportunity for everyone.

Prototyping new portable benefits for low-wage workers: The Workers Lab is using Google’sdesign sprint methodology to design and prototype a new product that will deliver a portable benefit in the form of emergency funding for low-earning contractors and low-wage workers. Through this process, The Workers Lab will partner with leading gig platforms to test and scale this solution. This grant is co-funded with theRockefeller Foundation.

Understanding and improving the social safety net for freelance workers:The Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative is coming up with new tools to help understand and administer support programs for gig workers. With Google.org’s support, Aspen is building a new digital resource that provides researchers, policymakers, and journalists with a one-stop shop for data about the gig workforce, while developing tools to help launch benefit programs geared to this growing business model.  

Researching how to make the Earned Income Tax Credit work for more people:The Economic Security Project is researching how to modernize the Earned Income Tax Credit, which forms a key part of the social safety net. The research is looking at increasing expanding the credit further into the middle class, recognizing and rewarding unpaid work by covering caregivers and students, and offering an option to receive the credit on a monthly basis. With Google.org’s support, the Economic Security Project is looking at the cost and feasibility of these changes.

Using digital tools to experiment with new ways of organizing businesses:Co-operative businesses allow workers to pool resources, find clients, and mitigate the risks of working as independent contractors and gig workers. TheNew School’s Platform Co-op Consortium will partner with the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University to develop the Platform Co-op Development Kit, a platform to help people start just these kinds of co-operative businesses.

These organizations are at the front lines of creating a more resilient and responsive social contract. What we learn from their investments will help give policymakers new ideas and models and ideas that we hope can be applied more broadly. We look forward to sharing the results of these projects, and to being part of the conversation.

Supporting CS educators in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

To ensure all young people have the opportunity to learn computer science (CS), it’s critical that educators are prepared and supported to teach with confidence and competence. Today we’re announcing grants to 31 universities and nonprofit organizations across 16 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to provide professional development for CS educators. These grants are part of Grow with Google’s commitment to train and equip teachers with the right skills to prepare the future workforce.

As digital technologies continue to evolve at an increasingly faster rate, it’s predicted that 21 million new jobs will be created in the next 10 to 15 years. CS has a crucial role in equipping students with the technical skills to embrace these new opportunities and career choices. CS education includes design, data, algorithms and the study of computer systems, while also promoting crucial skills such as collaboration, problem-solving and creativity. We believe every student should have the opportunity to learn CS; with that comes the responsibility of preparing teachers to deliver a CS curriculum with competence and confidence.

The grants announced today will enable research institutions, universities, and educational nonprofits to develop professional development (PD) programs specifically for CS teachers—those already teaching the subject and those completely new to the field. Through these PD programs, teachers will be able to grow their skills and knowledge to provide an exemplary educational experience for their students. Over the coming year, the 31 awardees in EMEA will provide a combined 500 hours of professional learning opportunities for 10,000 primary, secondary and pre-service teachers.

The funding announced today will support professional development for teachers in countries like Italy, where APS Programma il Futuro will provide professional development courses to approximately 150 primary and secondary school teachers. The grants will also allow awardees to respond to the increasing demand for CS PD in pre-service teacher education. In Ireland, for example, The University of Limerick will develop a new course to empower 50 pre-service teachers with CS skills and hands-on classroom resources.

We’re thrilled to congratulate these 2018 grant awardees across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prepared teachers are key to helping students embrace the CS opportunities of tomorrow, and we look forward to seeing how these grantees will advance CS education for the new global economy.

$100 million for skills and opportunity in Europe, Middle East, and Africa

In March, we pledged to help 1 million Europeans find a job or grow their business by 2020 through our Grow with Google program. Given the rapid digital transformation taking place in the world today, we want to make sure that everyone has the skills to both make the most of the opportunities and navigate the challenges that this presents.

Since we started Grow with Google in 2015, more than 214,000 people have found a new job or started a business thanks to the training offered. Making sure that our efforts are reaching the most disadvantaged requires working in partnership with organizations like OpenClassrooms and Inco, who are at the frontline of supporting those most at risk of missing out. That’s why we announced today at the Tech for Good summit in Paris that we’re committing $100 million over the next five years through Google.org to nonprofit organizations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa that are focused on skills and economic opportunity.

We particularly want to help organizations that focus on using technology and innovation to train people with new skills, connect job seekers with good jobs, and support workers in low-wage employment. According to the European Commission, 44 percent of working-age European adults don’t have basic digital skills. And in the Middle East and North Africa, only 38 percent of youth believe their education gives them the skills they need to enter the workforce. There is clearly a lot of work to do to make the opportunities of the digital economy are available to all, and the nonprofit sector—along with our partners in government, city councils, universities, and private-sector businesses—will play a vital role.

We’re always inspired by what people do when they have access to technology. And with our nonprofit partners, we’re doing everything we can to make sure technology brings opportunity to everyone.

Digital tools are the cherry on top of a local ice cream business

Just across the Cuyahoga river and south of Lake Erie sits Ohio City, one of Cleveland’s oldest neighborhoods. This is where Jesse Mason and Helen Qin came across a vacant ice cream store. They already had a mobile ice cream business, Mason’s Creamery, selling cones from a pop-up space. Now they set out to turn the 60-year-old storefront, with "sprinkles from every decade caked into every crevice," into a permanent location for their sweet treats.

They had a lot of questions. From how to get a business license and secure a health permit to how to build zinc countertops, they went online for help. And since the shop is on a quiet street, its online presence and free Google My Business listing helped Mason’s Creamery scoop up strong reviews and grow its customer base.

Today, the Mason's duo joined hundreds of other small business owners, students, teachers and job seekers at Grow with Google in Cleveland to share their experience as part of the “Get Found on Search and Maps” workshops (oh, and share their ice cream too!). This community event brings together people from all over the Cleveland area for workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions and hands-on demos to learn new digital skills. To learn how free online tools can help you grow your own skills, career or business, visit google.com/grow.

Turning passions—from beer to baked goods—into businesses

It’s National Small Business Week and we’re celebrating the local businesses that are at the heart of our communities.

Six months ago, we launched Grow with Google to help aspiring entrepreneurs develop the skills they need to get their businesses off the ground, online, and growing. Since then, we’ve heard the stories of thousands of small business owners who have joined us at events across the country.

Last week we met military veteran Kevin Ryan, who learned how to brew beer by watching YouTube videos—he calls it “YouTube University.” Less than two years after experimenting with a home brewing kit, he and his fiance Meredith founded Service Brewing Company in Savannah, Georgia. In addition to brewing great beer, Kevin and Meredith are reinvesting a portion of their profits in the community organizations that serve vets and military families. So far, they  have donated over $70,000.

Today, the Grow with Google tour is visiting Columbia, South Carolina, the hometown of Shennice Cleckley. With no formal training in baking, Shennice, like Kevin, used YouTube how-to videos to build her business. Soon she learned how to pipe, ice and make rosettes and started selling southern desserts “with a little bit of fancy.” She opened up the “My Dessert Bar” storefront and evolved it into an online bakery and catering company.

It’s never too late to find your passion, and as Kevin and Shennice have shown us, you can even turn that passion into a sustainable business. Every business, no matter its size, should be able to succeed online. For more digital tools, trainings and information on Grow with Google’s events, visit google.com/grow.