In celebration of International Small Business Day, Google today launched Google for Small Business at an event in New York City. A web portal designed to make it easier for entrepreneurs to find business tools and services, it’s part of Grow with Google, the initiative Google launched in October 2017 to help people develop the skills they need to find work or grow their business.
“Small businesses make a big impact on our communities — creating jobs, treating customers like family, and often defining what makes a town unique,” wrote Google Small Business Ads product manager Kim Spalding in a blog post. “Google is committed to helping these businesses use the power of the web to grow and thrive. These tools make it easier for small business owners to find and connect with customers and run their businesses.”
Visitors to the Google for Small Business website will be greeted by a list of upcoming Grow with Google digital skills workshops, in addition to updates on Google’s ecosystem of small business-focused product offerings. They’ll also get a personalized plan generator that takes a business name and objective and answers to a few roadmap questions and spits out a step-by-step plan tailored to the company in question.
Google for Small Business builds on a pledge the company made two years ago at an event in Pittsburgh, where CEO Sundar Pichai said the company would invest $1 billion over the next five years to train workers and work with nonprofits to build businesses. Google estimated in its recent U.S. Economic Impact Report that its search and advertising tools helped create $335 billion in economic activity for millions of businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits in the U.S. last year. And Google claims it drives over a billion customer connections for businesses worldwide.
“With the help of Google resources, we want to make it easier for you to reach your business goals so you can focus on doing what you love,” added Spalding.
Other projects under the Grow with Google banner include Google Primer, a free mobile app that uses five-minute interactive lessons to teach digital marketing and business skills to owners of small and mid-sized businesses, startups, and job seekers. Roughly a year ago, online education startup Udacity partnered with Google to make a dozen career courses freely available to recent graduates and mid-career professionals, and it teamed up with Coursera to launch a new program to train IT support professionals.
More recently, Google added filters and features to Cloud Talent Solution, an AI-powered job search platform, with the goal of helping veterans and their spouses find jobs. Coinciding with that rollout, the company introduced an attribute badge — Veteran-Led — to spotlight businesses owned or led by veterans in Google My Business, Google Maps, and mobile search listings.
In May, Google said that more than 5 million people in Europe and 5 million people across Africa and the Middle East have participated in Grow for Google training. The company claims that since 2016, 45% of workshop trainees report they’ve found a job.