Recently, Google announced that it would be opening applications for the Hustle Academy SMB Fund. The N75 million equity-free fund is aimed at helping Nigerian Small and Medium-sized Businesses stand firm in the ever-changing business ecosystem.
In Nigeria, small businesses pose the backbone of the nation's economy, but the challenge faced by most startups has been the issue of funding, which has led to the shutdown of many startups. The World Bank report shows that SMBs face a financial gap of $330 billion. While also stating that only 25% of SMBs have access to bank loans in Africa.
Google plans to give 5 to 15 Nigerian small business owners funding to support their businesses with the ongoing scheme to boost entrepreneurial growth in Nigeria.
Google Hustle Academy was introduced in 2022 to help SMEs with mentoring, management education, business, and networking to help them raise the necessary capital for their business. Since its inception, Google has assisted 4,000 SMBs in Nigeria with funding and education to strengthen their enterprises.
With the impact of the Hustle Academy, Google dedicated an N75 million pool, particularly for Nigeria, to help with non-dilutive funding to support 15 investor-ready SMBs.
This Is What Heads at Google Are Saying
Head of Brand & Reputation, Sub-Saharan Africa at Google, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde
The Hustle Academy Fund is a testament to the resilience and innovation of Nigerian small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. We are hopeful that this fund will further empower them to succeed and drive economic growth, creating jobs and opportunities for all Nigerians.
Product Marketing Manager and the Hustle Academy Programme Lead at Google, Echoing the sentiment, Sinmisola Nojimu-Yusuf
The Hustle Academy Fund provides SMBs with the resources and support they need to succeed.
With equity-free funding, mentorship, and opportunities for increased visibility and networking, we are supporting SMBs to grow and thrive.
We are committed to supporting the Nigerian entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the Hustle Academy Fund is a key part of that commitment.
However, to be eligible for the Hustle Academy SMB Fund, the business must be Nigerian-founded and have operated for a period of one to five years with a scalable and clear business plan.
The business must also have a good track record of commitment to growth, operate in sectors aligned with the digital economy, or have a digital enablement strategy—having past participation in the Hustle Academy in the past is also an added advantage.
The application for the Hustle Academy Fund starts on September 28, 2023, and closes on October 12, 2023.
Click here to start your application.