Nigeria, Kenya, and US among 34 organizations emerged winners of the $25 million Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls.
Google.org launched the $25 million challenge in March, 2020.
It is for organizations providing solutions and support for Women and Girls.
The Google.org recognizes those organizations whose services bridge the gender inequality created by the impact of Covid-19.
Speaking on the need for the challenge, President of Google.org, Jacquelline Fuller said as follows:
“Globally, women have been nearly twice as likely to lose their jobs during COVID-19 as men.
“It’s vital that we elevate and support work that empowers women and girls to reach their full economic potential, especially in marginalized communities.”
“The pandemic recovery must be an inclusive one, and we know that when we invest in women and girls, we all benefit.”
Benefits of Google.org challenge
Select organizations will get funding of up to $1 million each.
Also, the recipients will participate in a four-month accelerator programme by Google’s Accelerator and Women Techmakers communities.
The accelerator programme is in partnership with Vital Voices to move their projects forward.
Also, select organizations will receive a Google.org Fellowship and dedicated Ad Grants to promote their mission.
Beneficiaries by country
Among the organizations are two from Nigeria, three from Kenya and two from South Africa.
Others are organizations from Germany, Canada, France, US, Rwanda and India.
Also, organizations from Argentina, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Indonesia, Jordan, Brazil and Spain also emerged winners.
Google.org had called for gender equity focused organizations to submit their boldest and most innovative ideas to create a more equitable economic reality for women and girls.
Google.org said it received a total of 7,800 applications from more than 160 countries.
The organization partnered with a women-led panel of experts to arrive at the selection.
Among the panelists includes leaders like Rigoberta Menchu, Naomi Osaka, Shakira, Susan Wojcicki, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Also, gender equity-focused organizations, Vital Voices and Project Everyone, partnered Google.org to evaluate proposals from the organizations.
In a statement, Google.org said, “With the help of an all star panel of female experts and our Impact Challenge partners, Vital Voices and Project Everyone, we narrowed the field to 34. Their solutions help women and girls, especially those from geographically, economically or socially marginalized populations, reach their full economic potential, and in doing so, strengthen the well-being of entire communities.”
Areas of selection
The challenge selected the organizations based on four key criteria which include innovation, impact, feasibility, and scalability.
The selection also focused on four main areas.
They include Education, entrepreneurship & business; skills development and career support and financial independence and inclusion.
- Women’s World Banking, Inc.
The Nigerian startup empowers low-income and unbanked women to effectively use digital financial services.
“Women’s World Banking will provide access to digital wallets and digital credit/loans to women around the world who do not have access to formal financial services. Low-income women who are opening a bank account or asking for a loan for the first time will not need a smartphone to use the platform but can use prompts on mobile phones instead.”
- ImpactHER Foundation:
The second Nigerian organization to emerge among the winners of the Google.org fund challenge is ImpactHER Foundation.
The Foundation supports women entrepreneurs without internet access to bring their businesses online.
Google.org says the following of the foundation
“Through direct cash transfers, business and digital skills, marketing assistance, and mentorship in several languages (English, French, Swahili, Amharic, Portuguese), the “Re-CubateHER” project will support women-owned businesses to become technology-enabled. The curriculum will be deployed to women without internet access through interactive voice response technology to their phones.”
Others are Project Akilah (Rwanda) which will build a pipeline of formal economic career opportunities for rural women.
India’s SwaTaleem Foundation will also use funding to build an app, which does not require an internet connection.
The app will provide skills in math, science and financial awareness for young women and girls.
Colombia’s Asociación Colnodo will connect rural women entrepreneurs to the internet and each other through cohort programing and mentorship.
The Google.org fund challenge will help the organizations scale and help women and girls gain financial freedom.
The organizations will also get good mentoring to be in better position to help women and girls.
The funding will also help close the inequality gaps in finance, education and career created by the impact of covid-19.
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