The Google.org impact challenge is set to grant Ksh2.7 billion for women and girls’ economic empowerment in Africa. The cash grants would cater to non-profits and social enterprises that would enable them to create pathways for women to achieve their full economic potential and thrive.
Each beneficiary will receive funding ranging from Sh32.8 million to Sh219.3 million. Each organisation selected will receive capacity building support and mentoring from Googlers.
The enterprises will be vetted by an all-female panel of expert Google executives, world leaders, researchers, educators, business leaders, entrepreneurs, activists and more who will preside over the application review and selection process.
Google’s target area is organisations that advance all-round economic empowerment on programmes that address systemic barriers to economic equality, cultivating entrepreneurship, developing financial independence and more.
“Building on our previous work in gender equity with grantees like the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Laboratoria and GiveDirectly, in the past five years, Google.org has given over Sh6 billion ($55 million) in cash grants to non-profit organisations that support gender equity and access to opportunity for women and girls around the world,” stated Agnes Gathaiya, Google Kenya Country Director.
Despite years of major gains made in women empowerment, the disparity between men and women have worsened due to the global pandemic. A 2021 report cited that the pandemic hit women in Africa harder than men, as it worsened the already-existing gender inequalities such as safety, mental and physical health, domestic responsibilities and employment opportunities.
Additional stumbling blocks such as job cuts, income losses and lack of education are not only side effects of the pandemic but will prevent economic strides for women and girls for many years to come.
“We have a collective responsibility to ensure that generations of women and girls from all walks of life, no matter their race, sexual orientation, religion or socioeconomic status live in a world where they are treated equally and can realise their full potential,”
“This gives women and girls the tools, resources and opportunities to turn their potential into power changes their economic trajectory while benefiting their communities,” Gathaiya reaffirmed.
These enterprises have until Friday, 2 April at 11:59pm GMT to submit their applications at g.co/womenandgirlschallenge .
The GIC for Women and Girls, follows initiatives like the 2019 Africa launch of Women Will, Google’s initiative to create opportunities for women and Google’s #IamRemarkable workshop series, which work to counteract conditioning that women should not celebrate their achievements.