Unveiling The 15 Beneficiaries of the Google Hustle Academy N75m Fund

This year’s graduation solidifies the programme’s success as it has graduated about 10,300 startup founders since its inception…

Last week, we reported that tech giant, Google awarded N75 million to support 15 standout Nigerian small and medium-sized businesses that had participated in its startup training and funding initiative, the Google Hustle Academy.

The move, which underscores Google’s commitment to empowering entrepreneurial ventures and fostering sustainable growth within the Nigerian business ecosystem, came as 5,300 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across Africa celebrated their graduation from the academy in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, Johannesburg and Nairobi simultaneously.

Google’s Hustle Academy Impact Report revealed impressive outcomes, with 80% of participants reporting revenue growth and a significant increase in access to new funding sources.

The selection process

In a media chat with representatives of media platforms, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde (Jola), Google’s regional head of brand reputation in Africa explained the process for the selection of the 15 winners of the N75 million Google Hustle Academy fund.

First, she revealed that not all attending SMBs were qualified for graduation. To qualify for graduation, participants must attend a number of sessions and engage in a level of participation.

“So, the over 5,000 graduating across Africa today are a subset of the total number that has passed through the Google Hustle Academy. So, it is not about the numbers for us. It is about the impact of this training on the small businesses”, she explains.

Speaking on the objective of the programme, Jola mentioned that Google aims to train business owners to be able to make their businesses investors ready. According to her, ” What we set out to do with this programme was to help SMBs to grow and embrace digital transformation as well as transform their businesses and be investor ready.”

Jola noted that the first and most important criterion to qualify for the fund is to apply for the fund. The application will detail the reason for seeking the funds. Thereafter, the team sorted out applications from SMBs that had participated in the Google Hustle Academy and the rest were disqualified.

“We had a lot of people apply because they felt it was free money. But not participating in the hustle academy is an automatic disqualification. This is because we know the quality of training that has been given to the graduates of the Hustle Academy and we are comfortable with what they can do with the money”, she explained.

After this process, the Google team sorted the applications and shortlisted a hundred for consideration. The 100 shortlisted SMBs were asked to submit video pitches and pitch deck files that detail their plans if given the funds. At the end of the round, 30 applicants were presented to a panel consisting of representatives from Google and its partner organisations to select the eventual winners.

Meet the 15 Google Hustle Academy fund beneficiaries

According to Jola, the panel gave special thoughts to ensuring gender, geographic and industry balance in the final selection.

Meet the 15 beneficiaries of the Google Hustle Academy N75m fund
The 2023 Google Hustle Academy graduates from Nigeria…

“In all of this, we were very careful to cover a number of things because diversity is critical to us at Google. We were very careful to ensure that we had the right gender, industry and geographical representations. This is so that there is a balance and a spread”, she concludes.

Below is all you need to know about each beneficiary:

Business Name Founder Industry Profile
Rae’s Clothing Ifeoma Augusta Anselem Fashion and Apparel Rae’s Clothing is a fashion brand dedicated to creating inspirational garments.
Wauley Projects Limited Femi Bolaji Agriculture A leading enterprise specializing in the production and processing of poultry meat, with a primary focus on chicken.
Pinch N’ Dash Nafisa Abdulrazaq Sabo Food Processing and Packaging Pinch N’ Dash artfully combines tradition and innovation in crafting exclusive African tea blends; delivering a unique and flavorful experience in every sip.
Segunfunmi foods Nigeria Limited Funmilola Moronke Agbayewa Food Processing and Packaging Segunfunmi Foods champions the preparation and sale of natural food, with a specialization in premium granola and hibiscus tea.
The Nut Place Limited Chigozie Bashua Food Processing and Packaging The Nut Place is dedicated to transforming locally grown edible nuts into a range of healthy, gluten-free food products through meticulous processing
Kita Farm John Samuel Andefiki Agriculture Kita Farm engages local farmers in the cultivation and production of padi rice and maize.
Lead Way Family Poultry Hussaini Aliyu Baba Agriculture Lead Way Family Poultry, champions the provision of fresh broiler chickens, eggs, goats, cattle, and sheep while maintaining a balance between quality and affordability.
A.A.K. Shoes Aminu Abdulkarim Manufacturing and Processing A.A.K.SHOES, specializes in the creation of high-quality, sustainable footwear, blending traditional artisan craftsmanship with modern design sensibilities.
Stance Fashion Empire Constance Ufuoma Edesiri Fashion and Apparel Stance Fashion transforms waste fashion items into bespoke and ready-to-wear garments, showcasing a commitment to eco-friendly habits and practices.
Clozetsales Chikere Onyinyechi Breakthrough Retail Clozetsales is a marketplace dedicated to reducing fashion waste while fostering a sustainable and responsible approach to clothing consumption.
Rotela Business Synergy Anita Aletor Fashion and Apparel Rotela Business Synergy specializes in the production & sale of female ready-to-wear clothing crafted from Adire fabrics, and empowering the community through training on Adire fabric production.
Foodlane ventures Ojo Femi Christopher Agriculture Foodlane venture is focused on the processing and packaging of Nigerian flours, spices, and condiments tailored for both local and international markets.
Jelapetra Farms Ltd Angela Jidechukwu Nwabueze Agriculture Jelapetra Farms is an integrated farm that provides a diverse range of fresh vegetables, plantain, and fish, ensuring a reliable source of high-quality produce.
Ennie Wears Eniola Robert Fashion and Apparel Ennie Wears is a fashion venture that offers a unique line of streetwear, empowering individuals to express their individuality through distinctive clothing and designs
Inyene Agro-processing Factory Ltd Blessing Akpan Agriculture Inyang Agro Processing factory is a paramount player in food processing, delivering products that reflect the commitment to quality.
Table: Profiles of the 15 SMBs that were selected for the N75 million Google Hustle Academy Fund

Monitoring and after-support

Jola told the journalists at the event that Google is prepared to provide the right support and enabling environment for the beneficiaries of the N75 million Google Hustle Academy fund to be accountable and successful.

According to her, the actualising instrument will be the Google Hustle Academy mentorship structure.

“We are going to be supporting the beneficiaries of the Google Hustle Academy fund with mentorship to ensure that they bring the vision that they have pitched to life. The mentorship system will also encourage them as they go on the way. We are also building a strong alumni network that will help them learn from their coaches and peers throughout the way”, she concludes.



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