Google announces $25 mn grant for women, several other initiatives

Google on Monday announced a $25 million grant for nonprofits and social enterprises in India and globally that are doing important work to help women and girls reach their full potential.

The grant will be provided under Google’s charitable arm as an Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. 

“Women are almost twice as likely to lose their jobs during the pandemic and an estimated 20 million girls are at risk of not returning to school. We have the opportunity to build a future that is more equal and more inclusive—and we must take it,” said Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google and its parent company Alphabet.

He was speaking at a Google for India event streamed on YouTube on the occasion of Women’s Day, where the firm announced a host of initiatives.

Impact challenges are a way for Google to address specific problems for a particular community or idea.

The deadline to apply for the grant is April 9, with grant recipients getting between $300,000 and $2 million, as well as non-monetary support like mentorship from Google, as part of the challenge.

“Over the last five years, has given more than $55 million to nonprofit organizations that support gender equity and access to opportunity for women and girls around the world. We’ve also worked with grantees, such as the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Laboratoria and GiveDirectly, that are dedicated to the same cause. This new Impact Challenge will build on that work,” said Jacquelline Fuller

President, in a blog post on Monday.

Pichai also said the technology major was expanding its ongoing Internet Saathi programme to cover 1 million India women. 

“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. Yet, when it comes to accessing opportunity, deep inequalities persist. Building on the Internet Saathi program success, we’re making a  new commitment to help 1 million women in rural villages in India to become entrepreneurs through business tutorials, tools, and mentorship,” he said.

Launched in 2015 by Pichai, and with support from Tata Trusts, the programme was designed to impart digital literacy training to women across 300,000 villages in India. Over six years, the pan-India effort has benefitted over 30 million women across India through training provided by over 80,000 Internet Saathis.

Google has also launched the Women Will web platform. This will be complemented by community support, mentorship and accelerator programmes for rural women entrepreneurs.

Initially available in English and Hindi, it will be expanded to other local Indian languages soon. Google will work with 2,000 Internet Saathis to help other women gain from this resource and start on their entrepreneurial journey.

Nasscom Foundation grant also committed $500,000 grant to the Nasscom Foundation in order to support women with access to skills they need for the future.

Google Search and Maps

Google will also 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.

Google Pay for homepreneurs  

Google Pay announced the launch of Business Pages which enables homepreneurs to create easy catalogues of their products and services and direct people to them through a unique URL.

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