The Google volunteers delivered their two week training programme in the rural village of Kisanga and in Morogoro town alongside Raleigh Tanzania alumni. The project was designed to allow the Googlers to put their digital knowledge to good use and at the same time, allow them to gain a deeper understanding of the barriers youth face in Tanzania. Many young Tanzanians have the passion and drive to set up microenterprises, organisations and businesses but quite often lack the appropriate digital skills needed for growth and development. During planning, our team spent time finding out what the participants wanted to learn and what they would benefit from learning.
Faudhia Zando, one of the digital skills participants, and founder of FSO; an NGO based in Bagamoyo using arts and education programmes to empower women and girls was hoping to: “gain knowledge on how to use online tools to engage my stakeholders and expand my knowledge of online opportunities to reach and impact more women and girls in my community.”
Chrisper John, an entrepreneur who participated in the rural follow-up programme in Kisanga wants to work on the efficiency of her salon business in the village. “I want to increase the income in my business and to achieve this I will need to learn how to improve and diversify my business by attending this training.”
Over a period of five days in Kisanga, the volunteers provided essential follow-up business training and mentoring for 12 young entrepreneurs who completed Raleigh Tanzania’s livelihoods programme last year. The Googlers visited each business and reviewed the entrepreneur’s financial records to understand the individual challenges before offering bespoke, well-considered advice, ideas and lessons. The businesses involved included a salon, a chip shop, a sustainable charcoal business and different livestock businesses.
“The project has helped me to gain more knowledge on how to run my business better, for example how to go about employing others. I learnt a lot of tools which have helped me to drive my business like the business model canvas (BMC) and cashflow.” Yasini Shabani, Kisanga rural programme participant and owner of welding business
The volunteers then delivered the Google Digital Skills for Africa curriculum to 12 urban youth from Morogoro who are currently running their own businesses or social enterprises. The gender-balanced, diverse group of young people, some of whom had traveled from Moshi, Bagamoyo and Dar es Salaam in order to attend, were full of both respect and questions for the Googlers. Raleigh’s youth-led peer to peer approach combined with the Google employee’s expertise in innovation and technology resulted in a unique and creative training programme. The topics covered ranged from using social media and search engines to design-thinking, Google my business and even an introduction to coding.
“I really liked the training approach, it was more practical, we were involved in group discussions that really helped improve understanding.” Felician Ezekiel, Digital Skills participant, Founder and CEO of ECOWICE (an NGO working to protect the environment and wildlife of Tanzania)
The exciting, interactive sessions led by the Google team will empower these would-be entrepreneurs to uncover new and effective means of utilising digital technology for business design and growth.
“Google digital skills training helped me to understand the importance of planning, understand my strengths and weaknesses and how to use them as opportunity.” Felician Ezekiel, Digital Skills participant, Founder and CEO of ECOWICE
Through participating in this work with Raleigh Tanzania the Google volunteers have not only offered an abundance of new information and ideas to the entrepreneurs in Kisanga and Morogoro but they have also been learning themselves. More to come on how this experience has benefited our enthusiastic Googlers and young entrepreneurs.
Words by Communications Officer Lou McGowan.