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5,300 African entrepreneurs graduate from Google’s Hustle Academy

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The Google’s Hustle Academy which was launched in 2022 to empower budding African entrepreneurs has graduated 5,300 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from across countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.

The Google Hustle Academy, since coming on board, has empowered over 10,000 entrepreneurs across Africa, with more than 3,000 of the SMBs coming from Kenya, according to Google Country Director for East Africa, Agnes Gathaiya.

At the graduation ceremony on Monday in Nairobi, Gathaiya noted that the Hustle Academy programme focused on addressing the challenges faced by African SMBs and provided practical skills and resources essential for business growth.

“In the Academy, business owners undergo five days of hands-on training and receive 3,000 hours of training on fundamental aspects of business to help them navigate the challenges faced by SMEs in Africa,” she said.

“The training curriculum includes strategic growth sessions including business growth strategy, building digital marketing roadmaps, discovering and evaluating funding routes and how to pitch for success among other topics.

“This year’s cohort builds upon the foundation of the more than 5,000 SMBs who graduated last year. The graduates represent a wide range of industries, demonstrating the diverse and dynamic nature of African entrepreneurship.

“These businesses, through their participation in the Hustle Academy, have shown a remarkable capacity for innovation and resilience. The determination and growth exhibited by these SMBs are commendable,” Gathaiya added.

“The Hustle Academy program stands as a beacon of what practical training and resource provision can accomplish. Today’s graduation is not only a celebration of their hard work but also an acknowledgment of their role in enriching the African business environment.

“Through a variety of programs, products, and partnerships, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Africa are receiving substantial support, helping them navigate the challenges of the modern business world. Programs like the Hustle Academy are part of Google’s broader commitment to bolster the African business sector” she further revealed.

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M-PESA partners IFC to increase financial inclusion for farmers in Mozambique

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Mobile money transfer and payment service provider, M-Pesa, has entered into a partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) aimed at boosting financial inclusion for small-holder farmers in Mozambique.

The agreement will see IFC cooperating with Vodafone M-PESA Mozambique to support M-PESA in several key areas, including revamping and strengthening its existing agent network and conducting comprehensive countrywide training for M-PESA’s sales team and agents.

IFC will also assist M-PESA to review and expand its merchant acquisition and management strategy in Mozambique, and support M-PESA’s activities across different regions.

Sergio Gomes, Director of Vodafone M-PESA Mozambique, who announced the partnership, said the IFC and M-PESA Mozambique will “work together to explore and pilot new ways to expand mobile money services in rural areas, with the aim of increasing financial inclusion for smallholder farmers.”

“We have seen very positive results since M-PESA was launched in Mozambique in 2013 having paid about 9 billion Meticais ($142 million) in commissions to agents just in the last 5 years,” said Gomes.

“The new phase of M-PESA will focus on expanding our value proposition and use cases to limit the use of cash in the economy. One important vertical where we want to intervene is in agriculture where payments are dominated by cash.

“We believe that through this partnership with IFC, we can have an impact on farmers by digitizing their value chains beginning with payments received for their produce and moving out to developing more sophisticated products like insurance,” he added.

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Opera MiniPay wallet celebrates 1 million users in Africa

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Opera MiniPay wallet, a self-custodial dollar stablecoin wallet, has announced a significant achievement of surpassing one million users across Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana.

Charles Hamel, Product Director at MiniPay, who made the announcement, said the stablecoin wallet had seamlessly integrated into the Opera Mini browser for Android users and built on the Celo blockchain.

“The MiniPay wallet has been designed to be intuitive for users of all experience levels to reap the benefits that decentralized finance can bring,” Hamel said.

“Via a familiar Web2 experience, MiniPay makes it easier and more affordable for individuals across Africa to acquire, send and receive Mento cUSD stablecoins – simply by using mobile phone numbers.

“The wallet enables users to save, send, and receive funds instantly on their mobile phones with very low transaction fees and with a mission to onboard millions of users to Web3 across Africa, Celo and Mento Labs aim to provide accessible financial tools through MiniPay embedded in Opera Mini,” he stated.

According to Hamel, MiniPay enables fast, easy, and affordable payments through its stablecoin wallet, offering sub-cent fees through the Celo network.

“MiniPay is currently live in Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, with plans for expansion into South Africa, and more,” Hamel added.

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