Google has launched applications for its N75 million Hustle Academy SMB Fund to support Nigerian small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). 15 Nigerian entrepreneurs will each receive N5 million grants through the equity-free fund.
The initiative aims to empower SMBs, the backbone of Nigeria’s economy. However, SMBs face funding challenges, with only 25% accessing bank loans in Africa versus 50% in developed countries. The World Bank highlights a N330 billion financing gap.
Bolstering Nigerian SMBs Through Funding and Support
“The Hustle Academy Fund spotlights the grit and innovation of Nigerian SMBs, which drive growth and opportunities,” said Google’s Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde.
Google’s Sinmisola Nojimu-Yusuf added: “With funding, mentoring, and networking, we’re enabling SMBs to flourish and energizing Nigeria’s startup ecosystem.”
Hustle Academy Fund Eligibility
Eligible businesses must be:
- Operating 1-5 years in Nigeria
- Have a scalable business plan
- Demonstrate growth commitment
- Align with digital economy
Applications opened September 28 and close October 12, 2023.
Google’s Ongoing SMB Support
Introduced in 2022, Google’s Hustle Academy provides Nigerian SMBs with business training, mentoring, and networking.
Since launching, over 4,000 entrepreneurs have graduated, with 74% reporting significant growth. The Hustle Academy Fund expands Google’s efforts to empower Nigerian SMBs.
The fund underscores Google’s dedication to fueling Nigerian businesses, driving prosperity, and bridging the SMB financing gap.