Google to support 1 million rural women entrepreneurs in India

A snap from Google India
(Image credit: Google)

Google Inc has said that it would support 1 million rural women entrepreneurs in India, to help them pursue their ambitions and improve livelihoods through entrepreneurship.

Google will implement this through the ‘Women Will’ web platform launched at the virtual Google for India event on the occasion of International Women’s Day today.

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai also announced $25 million in grants to non-profits and social enterprises in India and around the world.

Further, Google also announced a $500,000 grant to Nasscom Foundation to support 100,000 women farm workers with digital and financial literacy. 

With this grant, Nasscom Foundation will reach women farm workers with digital and financial literacy training in six states - Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.

Women Will platform for rural India

To continue to support women in rural India, Google has introduced the new Women Will web platform. 

Available in English and Hindi, the Women Will platform is aimed at women who want to explore entrepreneurship. Google will work with 2,000 Internet Saathis to help women gain from this resource and start on their entrepreneurial journey.

'Internet Sathis' is Google's digital literacy programme, launched in 2015, to help narrow the digital gender divide in India. This joint effort with Tata Trusts has benefitted over 30 million women across 300,000 villages in India. It was backed by the non-stop efforts of over 80,000 women trainers called Internet Saathis.

"The success of the Internet Saathi program has shown how digital access and digital literacy can help women to reach their full potential and improve their livelihoods. When women have equal access to opportunity, we all benefit from their perspectives, creativity and their expertise, and this is true all over the world," Sundar Pichai said.

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Search for women-led outlets will be enabled on Google Maps

Further, in order to make it easier for people to support women-led businesses, Google will enable search in English for “women-led” — “women-led restaurants,” “women-led clothing stores” and more — on Google Search and Maps. 

"This is based on an opt-in feature on Google My Business where women-led businesses can identify as such on their Business Profiles," the company said.

This will not only enhance the online presence of hundreds of women-owned businesses but customers can easily extend their support by purchasing from them.

'Business Pages' for Homepreneurs on GPay

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Also, to empower homepreneurs, the bulk of whom are women, Google Pay has announced the launch of 'Business Pages' which enables them to create easy catalogues of their products and services and direct people to them through a unique URL. 

Interested buyers can chat with the homepreneur about their order and pay within the chat-based interface on Google Pay. 

On the $25 million global impact challenge for nonprofits and social organizations in India and around the world, Google said selected firms will receive mentoring from Googlers, and advertising grants, and additional support to bring their ideas to life.

Projects that support women and girls and have bold ideas on how to transform economic opportunities for women and girls can submit ideas till April 9. The grant recipients will be announced later in the year, Google said.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.