Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the tech giant, said on Monday that it would provide $ 25 million in grants to non-profit and social enterprises globally, including India, which are working on empowering girls and women.
The company, which has supported one million rural women entrepreneurs in India, also said that its Internet Sathi digital literacy training program has benefitted more than 30 million women across the country.
“In India, over the years, we have invested over $ 40 million with entrepreneurs, innovators, nonprofits doing amazing things. We announced the creation of another million dollar initiative on that work specifically to help those people acquire digital skills, including women who are most vulnerable, ”Jacqueline Fuller, vice president at Google and president of Google.org , Said in a virtual briefing.
She said that one of the first initiatives under that effort is led by the NASSCOM Foundation, with the organization receiving a $ 500,000 grant from Google.org to support one million women agricultural workers.
“They (NASSCOM Foundation) are going to reach one lakh women farmers and impart digital skills and financial literacy. Learning these skills has increased their income by about 30 percent, ”she said.
Talking about the new $ 25 million grant, Fuller said it is a global impact challenge aimed at non-profit organizations working towards helping women and girls.
We are providing $ 25 million, this is an open call. So any non-profit or social enterprise can apply anywhere in the world. And the winners will receive up to $ 2 million in funding per organization. We are also going to provide Gogglers, so there will be expertise, whether it be in software engineering or user experience, or even to come up with marketing and help bring these projects, ”she said.
Ms. Fuller said that now that more girls are going to school and more women are represented in the workplace, the COVID-19 epidemic has had a gender-retrograde effect.
“The COVID crisis is one of the biggest threats that we have seen in this progress. We know that globally, women are almost twice as likely to lose their jobs during the COVID crisis. And we are seeing women who are doing double duty around the world while working, as well as teaching children at home in many places, providing care, ”she said.
She reported that around one billion children worldwide have disrupted their education, making girls less likely to return to school after the epidemic.
“At the same time, there is not enough money for women and girls. If you look at all philanthropic wealth, only 1-2% of all wealth is targeted to women and girls. So, it is so important that we are doing this and we are doing it with our partners.
Sapna Chadha, Senior Country Marketing Director at Google India and South East Asia, said based on learning from the Internet Partner Program, the company has launched the Women Will Web platform, which will be complemented by community support, mentorship and accelerator programs for rural rural entrepreneurs .
Available in English and Hindi, Mahila Will Manch is specifically designed for women seeking to explore entrepreneurship. Through a ‘how to' course to foster interest in a business, manage an enterprise and promote it for growth, the platform will provide guidance and support to women who transform existing hobbies or talents such as tailoring, grooming services Want, home tuition, food processing, etc. in income.
To begin with, Google will work with 2,000 Internet partners to help other women benefit from this resource and start their entrepreneurial journey.
Google, in partnership with Tata Trusts, launched the Internet Sathi program in 2015, empowering women in rural India with digital literacy skills and bridging the digital gender divide. The joint effort, upon completion, has reached 3 lakh villages. In six years, this all-India effort has benefitted more than 30 million women across India through training provided by more than 80,000 Internet peers.
“Two of the 10 women involved in the Internet Partner Program started their own small businesses, and 73 percent of them expressed interest in learning new skills. And nearly three-quarters felt they were able to start their own business in the future… With this insight the next leap is taking digital literacy to digital livelihoods, to help women generate income , To create a livelihood.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said in a statement that when women have equal access to opportunity, everyone can benefit from their attitude, creativity and their expertise.
“Nevertheless, when it comes to the attainment of opportunity, deep inequalities persist. Based on the success of the Internet Partner Program, we are making a new commitment to help one million women from rural villages in India become entrepreneurs through professional tutorials, tools and mentorship.
Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Trusts, said the organizations have set out to train women trainers, so that they can tell other rural women how to use the Internet in all rural environments, which otherwise would never happen.
“Today's technology, and perhaps tomorrow's technology, is a great step to bear for the benefit of rural women. Over time, these efforts will ensure that the true value of the Internet is exposed. I want to congratulate the two teams that have worked together to help make this happen, ”he said.