Google Launches 2024 Hustle Academy Applications, Introducing AI Training for Participants
May 12, 2024
Enrich Africa
3 minute(s) Read
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Google has announced that it is now accepting applications for the 2024 edition of its Hustle Academy, a program aimed at accelerating the growth of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Sub-Saharan Africa. This year, the curriculum will be enhanced with business-oriented AI training, marking a significant evolution in the program's offerings.

SMBs form the crux of Africa's economic structure, though they often struggle with securing funding and acquiring the critical skills necessary for expansion. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) reports that 40% of formal SMBs in developing countries face an unmet funding need totalling $5.2 trillion each year.

Launched in 2022, the Hustle Academy has already impacted over 10,000 businesses by providing comprehensive business education, mentorship, and networking opportunities. The program has notably increased the success rate of participants in securing funding from sources other than friends and family—from 11% to 20%. Additionally, for every 10 businesses that graduate, an average of 4 new jobs are created.

Kristy Grant, Head of B2B Marketing for SSA at Google, stated:

"Integrating AI into our curriculum is a strategic move to harness the vast potential of artificial intelligence for African SMBs. This will enable them to spur innovation, enhance efficiency, and achieve new economic heights. The Hustle Academy's support has already seen businesses successfully raise funds and create jobs. With AI training now part of our program, we expect to magnify these successes, empowering SMBs to leverage AI for better business outcomes and economic advancement."

The new AI-focused modules will cover topics such as making data-driven decisions, optimizing operations, and devising AI-enhanced marketing strategies. Through sessions like "Boost Your Productivity with AI" and "Marketing Strategy and AI," participants will learn practical applications that save time and enhance digital engagement.

The 2024 Hustle Academy is open to SMBs from Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, and will run throughout the year. Those interested can apply at

READ ALSO - Google Launches AI Accelerator for African Startups

Last year, Google’s Hustle Academy awarded N75 million to 15 exceptional Nigerian SMBs during a graduation event that celebrated the achievements of 5,300 businesses across Africa in Abuja and Nairobi.

Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, Google’s regional head of brand reputation in Africa, highlighted at the event that not every SMB in attendance qualified to graduate. Eligibility for graduation requires attending a minimum number of sessions and active participation.

“Our focus isn't merely on the number of attendees but on the tangible impact of our training on these small businesses,”

she added.

One of the standout success stories is Pippy Leather Works, a Kenyan enterprise that specializes in quality leather products and primarily employs local women. After participating in the Hustle Academy, Pippy Leather not only boosted its online presence but also doubled its revenue and expanded its team.

May 12, 2024
Enrich Africa
3 minute(s) Read
Google Hustle Academy
AI-focused modules

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