Google has opened applications for an equity-free fund of ₦75 million (US$100,000) through its Hustle Academy, an initiation dedicated to amplifying the growth of Nigerian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Hustle Academy SME Fund welcomes applications from visionary, investor-ready SMEs operating within Nigeria, with an emphasis on businesses that have shown commitment to scalable and sustainable growth.
Since its inception in 2022, the program has been providing SMEs with business and management education, mentoring, and networking. This initiative which is also open in Kenya and South Africa emphasises preparing its participants to package their businesses in order to raise the necessary capital that will take their businesses to the next level.
Google’s Hustle Academy has graduated over 4,000 SMEs in Nigeria, with 74% of selected applicants from the first year recording decent business growth. The fund is, specifically offering ₦5 million (US$6,500) to 15 Nigerian small business owners.
Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, head of brand and reputation at Sub-Saharan Africa at Google said: “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,”
Here are eligibility and criteria for selection as stated by Google:
1. Must be an SME formally registered and operating in Nigeria.
2. Business should be between 1-7 years old.
3. Businesses must have digital-enabled scalable products or services.
4. Be a graduate of the Hustle Academy Program.
5. Business should employ no more than 15 employees.
6. Business must have a clear growth plan and the ability to leverage the fund to achieve it.
7. Show willingness to engage in mentorship and utilise Google’s suite of tools and platforms.
Applications close on 12th of October, 2023. Click here to apply.