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E-commerce offers growth opportunity for SMEs -Google rep

The Google Country Director for West Africa, Juliet Ehimuan, has said e-commerce presents an opportunity for small businesses in Nigeria and other African countries to attract new customers and grow.

She disclosed this as google announced its plan to support small retail businesses on the continent as part of a month-long celebration of International Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Businesses Day in June.

She said, “E-commerce presents an opportunity for small businesses in Africa to reach new customers and grow.

“Through the digital marketing & e-commerce career certificates and specialised training and 1000 scholarships, we want to be able to assist small businesses in Africa gain the expertise to connect online, expand their customer base and scale up.”

According to her, Africa’s growing young population and urbanisation present huge expansion opportunities for small retail businesses. She added that the e-commerce markets in Kenya and Nigeria increased by 40 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively, in 2021, while online sales in South Africa increased by 66 per cent from 2019 to 2020, reaching more than $1.8bn.

Ehimuan stated, “As more consumers on the continent continue to search for goods and services online, it is critical that small retail businesses learn how to better harness online tools for growth.”

According to Google, its celebration of small and medium-sized enterprises includes a one-hour virtual training event, Shopping Small Business Summit, aimed at helping SMB owners develop skills and tools to compete online.

It added that topics will include e-commerce trends and digital marketing. It stated that it has partnered with Coursera to develop an online career certificate course in digital marketing and e-commerce for SMEs and is offering 1000 scholarships to Africans who wish to attend.

It said, “This month also sees the debut of Local Opportunity Finder, a new tool that evaluates a Google Business Profile and makes personalised recommendations for changes that a business owner may make to enhance how their business profile looks to consumers in Google Search.

“Also, the free, one-week-long Hustle Academy in June will focus on essential skills that will help SMBs build the skills they need to grow.”

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