Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

WomenWill – Our commitment to support economic empowerment of women in rural India

At Google, we have a longstanding commitment to bring the benefits of the internet to everyone. From 2015 to 2020, over 1.5 billion people across the world came online, and India has been the fastest growing contributor. But connectivity is only foundational, we need to come together to ensure that everyone has the support needed to participate and equal opportunity to gain from these developments.

This belief led us to embark on our most ambitious program till date called the Internet Saathi to help narrow the digital gender divide in India. Today, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, we are delighted to share that, in its six year journey, this joint effort with Tata Trusts has had a cascading impact benefitting over 30 million women across rural India, and contributed to narrowing the digital gender gap in India. The program was designed to impart digital literacy training to women across 300,000 villages in India, and it took the courage and non-stop efforts of over 80,000 women trainers called Internet Saathis to make this possible.

But even as we come together to salute and celebrate the success of these Internet Saathis, we know the progress on gender equity has been uneven, fragile, frustratingly slow, and equality and equal economic empowerment of women is a long way off.  Post COVID-19, job cuts, income loss, and lack of access to education will prevent women and girls' economic advancement, particularly those from underserved communities, for generations to come. These alarming realities require swift and decisive action.

Today, at the virtual edition of Google for India event called Women Will, our CEO, Sundar Pichai, and President of Google.org, Jacquelline Fuller, made a series of announcements in support of the economic empowerment of women, both in India and globally, to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship enablers to help narrow the gender gap.

Supporting 1 million women entrepreneurs in rural India

Based on learnings from the Internet Saathi program, and to continue to support women in rural India to pursue their ambitions and improve their livelihoods through entrepreneurship, we are introducing a new Women Will web platform. This will be complemented by community support, mentorship, and accelerator programs for rural women entrepreneurs.

Available in English and Hindi, the Women Will platform is designed especially for women aspiring to explore entrepreneurship. Through a “how to” curriculum on turning an interest into a business, managing an enterprise, and promoting it for growth, the platform will provide guidance and support to women who want to convert an existing hobby or talent such as tailoring, beauty services, home tuition, food processing, etc. into some income. To begin with, we will work with 2,000 Internet Saathis to help other women gain from this resource and start on their entrepreneurial journey.

Supporting 100,000 women agri-workers with NASSCOM Foundation in India

To support women with access to skills they need for the future, we are committing $500K in funding to NASSCOM Foundation through our philanthropic arm, Google.org. With this support, they will reach 100,000 women agri workers with digital and financial literacy training in the six states of Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.  NASSCOM Foundation will also set up a helpline where women agri workers will be able to call and get further counselling on their entrepreneurship related queries.

US$25 million Google.org Global Impact Challenge for Women & Girls

As we make these commitments in India, we are very conscious that the disruption of 2020 has widened the gender equity gap globally. Post-COVID-19, a future of all-round prosperity is anchored in the guarantee of gender equity, and this requires concerted but bold efforts.

Google.org, which connects nonprofit innovators with the best of Google’s resources, is today launching a global Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. Under this effort we will provide $25 million in overall funding to nonprofits and social organizations in India and around the world that are working to advance women and girls' economic empowerment and create pathways to prosperity.  Selected Impact Challenge grantees will also receive mentoring from Googlers, Ad Grants, and additional support to bring their ideas to life. Visit g.co/womenandgirlschallenge to learn more about the Challenge and apply by 10 April. 

Feature enablements on Search and Maps for women entrepreneurs   

For many entrepreneurs, Search and Maps are their storefront. In order to make it easier for people to support women-led businesses, Google will enable search in English for “women-led” — “women-led restaurants,” “women-led clothing stores” and more — on Google Search and Maps. This is based on an opt-in feature on Google My Business where women-led businesses can identify as such on their Business Profiles. This will not only enhance the online presence of hundreds of women-owned businesses but customers can easily extend their support by purchasing from them, leaving a great review, and sharing their Business Profile. 

GPay Business Pages for Homepreneurs

To empower homepreneurs, the vast majority of whom are women, Google Pay has announced the launch of Business Pages which enables them to create easy catalogues of their products and services and direct people to them through a unique URL. Interested buyers can chat with the homepreneur about their order and pay within the chat-based interface on Google Pay. 

The success of the Internet Saathi Program has strengthened our belief that the impact of investments behind empowering women and girls is deeply rewarding and has long standing benefits for generations to come. At every level, the costs of exclusion are high, and the advantages of equity are manifold.

And as our CEO Sundar Pichai said, we have the opportunity to build a future that is more equal and more inclusive and we must take it, and we are committed to continuing our journey on this course.

Posted by Sanjay Gupta, Country Head & Vice President, Google India, and Sapna Chadha, Senior Director Marketing, Google India & South East Asia

Celebrating and advancing entrepreneurship around the world

All around the world, entrepreneurs are creating thriving businesses. In London, Josh Babarinde created Cracked It, a social enterprise that trains at-risk youth to repair cracked smartphone screens, giving them an alternative to crime. In Seoul, Yeram Kwon is transforming the CPR training experience with improved, smarter manikins through HeartiSense. And in Israel, Oded Ben-Dov created Sesame Enable, the first touch-free smartphone designed for people who have limited or no use of their hands due to disabilities.

As a company created by two graduate students in a garage, we know just how powerful an entrepreneur with an idea can be. We also know there’s more that companies, governments, and communities can do to help those entrepreneurs succeed. That’s why we created Google for Entrepreneurs nearly four years ago—to support startup communities around the world and connect entrepreneurs to resources and to each other.

This week, we’re excited to participate in and sponsor the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted by President Barack Obama and the U.S. government, building upon summits previously hosted by the governments of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Morocco, and Kenya. The summit showcases entrepreneurs and investors from around the world who are creating new opportunities for investment, partnership, and collaboration. Our CEO Sundar Pichai is speaking at Friday’s closing session, and a number of other Google leaders will be there to discuss the state of entrepreneurship around the world and ways that we can all support startups and encourage innovation.

Helping entrepreneurs succeed also means building and investing resources in the communities where they live and work. That’s why Google for Entrepreneurs partners with more than 50 organizations worldwide, and runs six Campus spaces—in London, Tel Aviv, Seoul, Madrid, Warsaw, and São Paulo—where local entrepreneurs can work and learn. Altogether, we work with entrepreneurs in 125 countries, who have raised more than $1 billion in funding and created 5,000+ new jobs.

Our support of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is another way we hope to help entrepreneurs build and create the technology that will shape our future. To the 1,500 attendees joining from around the world, we warmly welcome you to Silicon Valley and hope to meet you! If you’re attending the Summit, please stop by the Google for Entrepreneurs lounge, where you can sign up for 1:1 mentorship from dozens of Googlers and industry experts, explore product demos, and more. We’re also hosting an interactive portal experience to connect attendees from the event to entrepreneurs around the world at Campus London, Campus Seoul, Centraal in Mexico, and in Iraq and Afghanistan. And for those that can’t join us in person, you can catch the action via live stream.

Google Demo Day: shining a light on female entrepreneurs

Women around the world are creating and building incredible technology companies. We see this every day through our Google for Entrepreneurs programs—like #40Forward, which works with organizations to increase the representation of female entrepreneurs in startup communities, and our baby-friendly startup school Campus for Moms. Supporting these startups is important because teams with diverse perspectives and experiences—particularly in leadership positions—make better products for users.

But the data still tells us that women-led startups often struggle to get access to top investors who can help them raise money. Despite women owning 29 percent of U.S. businesses, female-led companies receive only 3 percent of venture capital—a lifeline for many startups to fund new product development and hiring.

With this in mind, today we're hosting our first Google Demo Day specifically for startups with female founders. More than 450 companies from 40+ countries applied, and we chose 11 female-led startups to join us in San Francisco for the event. These startups come from all over the world and span a variety of industries—from Kichink, a B2B e-commerce company in Mexico, to ChattingCat, a real-time translation service in South Korea.
At today’s event, each startup will have four minutes to pitch their businesses, followed by Q&A with a panel of judges. At the end of the day, the judges will crown a Judges’ Favorite, based on the strength of their business model, their team, and their product. Demo Days aren’t just a time to pitch investors; founders also receive mentoring and feedback from Googlers and Silicon Valley veterans through a series of talks and workshops.
Companies from our past two Demo Days have raised $3.5 million from investors who are in attendance, and millions more afterwards. For example, Durham, North Carolina-based beverage entrepreneur Tatiana Birgisson, who won our Demo Day in April, has raised more than $1 million for her energy tea startup MATI Energy.

But it's not just the people in the room who can take part in the big day. You can tune in to the live stream on YouTube at 10am PT today to see Demo Day in action. You'll also have the chance to vote for the winner of the "Game Changer" Award, an audience favorite trophy. We hope this Demo Day will not only shine a light on the participating startups, but on the exciting companies being built and led by female entrepreneurs everywhere.


Enrolments now open at summer school for aspiring startup founders

Accounting, consultancy and laws firms have long had summer programs which help young people get a sense for what it would be like to pursue those career paths. But it hasn’t been easy for aspiring entrepreneurs to get a feel for what it’s like to do their first tech startup.

That’s why General Assembly and Google Australia have teamed up to offer Introduction to Startup Entrepreneurship, a free 8-week online summer school that will cover topics like how to develop an idea, design and branding, working with developers and marketing for startups. The program will also run weekly Google+ Hangouts to allow face-to-face interaction with course instructors.  

Ten of the participants who complete the program and have worked to develop their ideas will be selected by General Assembly to attend a two-day boot camp at Google Sydney in March to further their entrepreneurial skills.

We hope this program will encourage more young Australians to follow their entrepreneurial passions, and contribute to Australia’s economic growth in the process. Tech startups have the potential to contribute over $109 billion of GDP and add half a million jobs by 2033, but to unlock this potential, we need more Australians to get amongst it!

The course begins on January 6, 2014.  Click here to enrol now.

Posted by Alan Noble, Engineering Director for Google Australia