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Google Launches Program to Accelerate Economic Recovery in MENA

Digital

Google Launches Program to Accelerate Economic Recovery in MENA

Google pledges to mentor local businesses and help them grow online in the UAE, especially those in retail and tourism.

Google announced today ‘Grow Stronger with Google’, a new program to accelerate the MENA region’s economic recovery through digital transformation, by offering digital tools, training, and financial grants to support local businesses and job seekers. In the UAE, the program will focus on supporting local businesses in retail and tourism.

Lino Cattaruzzi, Managing Director for Google in the Middle East and North Africa, said: “Online tools have been a life-line for many during the pandemic. Making the most of the online opportunity can help people, businesses, and communities in the UAE and in the wider region bounce back stronger. Through our program, we will help people learn new skills and find jobs, and help businesses grow online, especially those in the retail and tourism sectors that have been most affected. We remain fundamentally optimistic about the future of this region, and confident that working together with local partners, we can boost recovery and build on the rapid acceleration of tech adoption we’ve seen during the crisis.”

The ‘Grow Stronger with Google’ program in the UAE includes:

Digital skills & cloud training 

  • In partnership with local organizations like NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, Dubai SME, Ajman University and University of Sharjah, Google will offer training in digital marketing to thousands of students and businesses in the UAE.
  • Host virtual training for UAE tech businesses on Cloud computing.

Mentorship of businesses

  • Launch of ‘Google for Startups Accelerator’, an open call for MENA entrepreneurs and startups to apply for mentorship and training by experts from Google and others on digital marketing and strategies. The first cohort of 15 startups will be selected in November and will last for three months.
  • $1.1 million USD worth of Google.org financial grants to organizations like Mercy Corps, Arab Tourism Organization and Youth Business International, to mentor businesses and entrepreneurs across the region.

Digitizing local businesses in the UAE 

  • Get 50,000 local businesses online by listing them on Google my Business and training them in digital marketing, in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry which along with Google verified 100,000 UAE businesses in the last two years.
  • Launch of Market Finder, a product by Google that helps local retailers identify new markets & acquire global customers.
  • Free access to UAE retailers to list their products on the Google Shopping tab, to help them connect with more customers regardless of whether they advertise with Google.

As part of its region-wide program, Google is pledging to help one million people and businesses in MENA learn digital skills and grow their businesses by the end of 2021. Google is also pledging $4 million USD in Google.org grants and loans, and over $9 million USD in Ad Grants and credits for governments and businesses.

In 2018, Google launched Maharat min Google, a digital skills training program, which to date has been completed by one million Arabic speakers in MENA.

According to the Arab Monetary Fund, around 6 million jobs are now at risk in the Arab world. A recent survey showed that 70% of UAE employees are reassessing their careers because of Covid-19 and the most in-demand jobs require applied digital skills.

For more information about Grow Stronger with Google please visit grow.google/intl/mena

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