Google has announced the commencement of applications for the 2024 cohort of its Hustle Academy, a program designed to accelerate the growth of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across Sub-Saharan Africa. This year, the program brings a significant upgrade by integrating business-focused AI training directly into its curriculum.

Closing the Knowledge Gap

The Google Hustle Academy aims to bridge the gap in business education by offering comprehensive training, mentorship, and networking opportunities tailored to the needs of SMBs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Impact and Success

Since its inception in 2022, the Hustle Academy has made significant strides, benefiting over 10,000 businesses. Notably, participants who received grants witnessed a nearly doubled success rate in accessing new funding sources, soaring from 11% to 20%. Moreover, the program has been instrumental in job creation, with an average of 4 new jobs for every 10 graduating businesses.

AI Integration

Kristy Grant, Head of B2B Marketing, SSA, emphasized the transformative potential of AI for African SMBs, citing its ability to drive innovation, enhance efficiency, and spur economic growth. By incorporating AI into the curriculum, the Hustle Academy aims to amplify its impact further, empowering SMBs to leverage AI technologies for improved business performance and economic advancement.

Enhanced Curriculum

The newly introduced AI modules delve into critical areas such as data-driven decision-making, operational optimization, and AI-powered marketing strategies. Through modules like "Boost Your Productivity with AI" and "Marketing Strategy and AI," participants will explore practical applications, learning to streamline operations and enhance digital outreach effectively.

Opportunities for SMBs

Applications for the 2024 Google Hustle Academy cohort are now open to SMBs in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. The program, spanning the entirety of the year, presents an invaluable opportunity for SMBs to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in today's dynamic business landscape.