Google is directly or indirectly part of everyone’s life. Most of us depend so much on Google products or services that any disruption would be costly. Using Google platforms is mostly beneficial given the widespread use and broad interoperability. That is why whenever Google unveils any initiative it is important to take advantage of it. Recently Google introduced some initiatives that are specially tailored for small retail businesses in Africa. Let us take a look at them.

In June small to medium enterprises were the key focus concerning celebrating International Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Businesses Day. The culmination of those celebrations saw Google announcing several initiatives meant to boost small African retail businesses. The initiatives are as follows:

Shopping Small Business Summit

This shall kick off with an hour-long virtual training session. Then there will be the Shopping Small Business Summit. The focus of the summit will be to capacitate small to medium enterprises with relevant skills and tools to be competitive online. Some of the areas to be covered will be Commerce Trends and Digital Marketing. This is an event that is open to everyone so if you are interested, kindly register here.

Online Certificate Course In Digital Marketing And Ecommerce

Google has partnered with Coursera to provide an online certificate course in Digital Marketing and eCommerce. This is will be a course specially tailored for small to medium enterprises. Google will be giving out 1000 scholarships to Africans interested in pursuing this course. This is a great initiative especially given what I usually see out there. It is not enough to just set up an online store. The digital marketing side is actually of greater importance if business growth is to be realized. Overall, anyone running a business nowadays must undergo formalized learning or training in digital marketing.

Local Opportunity Finder

Google is also unveiling a new tool called Local Opportunity Finder. This tool assesses your Google Business Profile and provides recommendations specifically for you. These will be recommendations on things you must do to your business profile to become more visible on Google Searches. This is a timely tool because most eCommerce startups, Zimbabwean ones particularly, do not rank well on Google searches. Many are yet to appreciate how strategic ranking higher there can be.

These are initiatives that small retail businesses in Zimbabwe should take advantage of. I have been seeing lots of interest amongst Zimbabweans in starting e-commerce startups. Just the other day someone reached out to me regarding starting an eCommerce startup. Countless Zimbabwean eCommerce startups are already operational. One of the gaps I see is a lack of or inadequate skills and tools in growing those startups. Most eCommerce startups become stagnant, grow slowly, or go out of business altogether. That is why I highly recommend that Zimbabweans take advantage of these initiatives. The potential and value in Zimbabwean eCommerce are still mostly untapped.