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Google Proclaims To Support 1 Million Rural Women Entrepreneurs In India

Monday, 08 March 2021, 11:17 Hrs

Internet giant Google Inc., said it will support 1 million rural women entrepreneurs in India, to help them pursue their ambitions and improve livelihoods through entrepreneurship. Google will implement this through the ‘Women Will’ web platform launched at the virtual Google for India event on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

It also announced a $500,000 Google.org grant to Nasscom Foundation to support 100,000 women farm workers with digital and financial literacy. With this grant, Nasscom Foundation will reach women farm workers with digital and financial literacy training in six states - Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh.

The foundation will also set up a helpline where such workers will be able to call and receive counselling on entrepreneurship related queries.

Available in English and Hindi, the Women Will platform is designed for women aspiring to explore entrepreneurship. To begin with, Google will work with 2,000 Internet Saathis to help women gain from this resource and start on their entrepreneurial journey.

“When women have equal access to opportunity, we all benefit from their perspectives, creativity and their expertise, and this is true all over the world. Yet, when it comes to accessing opportunity, deep inequalities persist. 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," said Sundar Pichai, Google and Alphabet CEO.

Launched in 2015 by Pichai, the Internt Saathi programme, in collaboration with Tata Trusts, was designed to impart digital literacy training to women across 3,00,000 villages in India. Over six years, this has benefitted over 30 million women, through training provided by over 80,000 Internet Saathis, the company said.

“We look upon the success of the Internet Saathis partnership we have had with Google with great satisfaction. Together, we embarked on training women trainers to familiarize other women on how to utilize the internet, all in the rural environment, that would otherwise never take place. In bringing today's technology, and perhaps tomorrow's technology, to bear for the benefit of rural women is a great move forward," said Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts.

Pichai also announced a global Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls, under which Google.org will provide $25 million in grants to non-profits and social enterprises in India and around the world that are doing important work to help women and girls reach their full potential.

"Women are almost twice as likely to lose their jobs during the pandemic and an estimated 20 million girls are at risk of not returning to school. We have the opportunity to build a future that is more equal and more inclusive—and we must take it," he added.

Speaking at the event, Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development, said, “Over the last few years, under Jan Dhan Yojana, we have supported 220 million women to become financially independent. Under the Mudra Yojana, we have dedicated 27 crore worth of funds, accessed by 70% women. The time now, especially with such great leaps in technology, is ripe for India and other emerging economies to ensure that a level playing field is created for the economic advancement of women."