In light of the “new normal” being adopted in various parts of the globe amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, tech giant Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, has shared its plans to provide grants worth $1.1 million to help businesses in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) improve their digital skills and get them online.
This announcement comes at a time when the Middle East is moving rapidly towards a fully-connected, intelligent future in which more people, homes, and organizations are linked than ever before.
Over $1 Million Worth of Mideast Grants, Loans to be Provided by Google for Digital Skills Training
In line with this, Google looks to provide $3 million in loans to thousands of businesses in the region, $2 million of which will go to Egypt, to help them transition to digital transformation, the Khaleej Times reported.
The announcement is expected to bring enormous value to economies and societies. According to a PwC study, nearly 80% of Middle East private businesses have already acknowledged that digitalization will impact the long-term viability of their business.
In the same manner, digital technologies are changing traditional employment structures, and the labor market has become increasingly lopsided. That said, a lack of digital skills has become a development bottleneck for the digital economy.
The opportunity was conceived because online consumption in the region has been on the rise this year as people stay home due to the novel coronavirus, Google reported, adding that according to the Arab Monetary Fund, 6 million jobs are at risk.
Through this initiative, a total of 1 million firms or individuals in the region would get help to improve their digital skills to find jobs and get businesses online by the end of 2021.
Moreover, Google announced that it will provide $9 million in advertising credits and grants to support businesses and governments in the region.