- Google, at its first India-focused event of 2021, announced several initiatives for women in the country.
- Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai also spoke at the event.
- The company's Internet Saathi programme, which is now completed, benefitted over 30 million women across India.
At its Google for India event on the occasion of International Women's Day, Google announced a new initiative for women in farming in India. The company said it would support 1 million women entrepreneurs in rural India. Based on its learnings from the Internet Saathi programme, Google announced grant support for NASSCOM Foundation, which will reach 100,000 women agri workers with digital and financial literacy training in the six states - Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.
"NASSCOM Foundation will also set up a helpline where the women agri workers will be able to call and receive further counselling on their entrepreneurship related queries," Google said in a statement on Monday. To support the new initiative, Google.org announced a commitment of a $500K grant to the NASSCOM Foundation.
Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, speaking at the event, said, "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."
Pichai also announced a global Google.org Impact Challenge for women and girls. Under this challenge, Google.org will provide $25 million in grants to nonprofits and social enterprises in India and around the world that are doing important work to help women and girls reach their full potential.
Google also launched its new Women Will web platform for supporting 1 million women entrepreneurs in rural India. The platform will be available in English and Hindi, the Women Will platform is designed especially for women aspiring to explore entrepreneurship, says Google.
It will have a "how-to" curriculum on turning an interest into a business, managing an enterprise, and promoting it for growth, the platform will try to provide guidance and support to women.
It will help women convert their current hobbies or talent such as tailoring, beauty services, home tuition, food processing, and more into some income. To start with, Google says it will work with 2,000 Internet Saathis to help other women gain from this resource and start on their entrepreneurial journey.
Additionally, Google also announced new features to make it easier for people to support businesses led by women. The company has announced feature enablements on Search and Maps for women entrepreneurs as the platform is the biggest storefronts for small businesses. Google says it will enable search in English for "women-led" — "women-led restaurants," "women-led clothing stores" and more — on Google Search and Maps.
The company on Monday also announced the launch of Business Pages which enables women to create easy catalogues of their products and services and direct people to them through a unique URL on Google Pay.
"Interested buyers can chat with the homepreneur about their order and pay within the chat-based interface on Google Pay," explains Google.