25th October, 2011
Search engine giant, Google, has launched an initiative aimed at enabling businesses in Nigeria get online to enhance their visibility in the market.
Googleâ€™s Getting Nigeria Businesses Online (GNBO) initiative hopes to bring at least 40,000 small to medium scale enterprises (SME) online over the next year.
The initiative will allow businesses to create their own website and develop an online presence all free of charge.
Juliet Ehimuan, Google Nigeria country manager, said the initiative will help transform the Nigerian SME landscape and contribute immensely to the countryâ€™s economic growth and also create the much needed jobs.
â€œOur strategy in Nigeria right now is really working around with stakeholders to build an online ecosystem, we are focused on three areas, the first is access and what we are really looking for is how do we get more Nigerians online, how do we remove the barriers to internet access, and so we are in conversations with service providers with regulators, with government agencies to know how we can get more users on line,â€ said Ehimuan.
“Nigeria has over 43 million internet users and having a website automatically means customers will be able to locate local businesses and local information easily and quickly,” she added.
Several entrepreneurs who took up the Google initiative in its earlier stages said they were already reaping the benefits.
The Google initiative offers a free professional website for desking and mobile, free sub-domain name, free hosting for the life of the website, 10 free e-mail accounts and free tools and support services.
However, critics of Google have accused it of trying to dominate the internet business in Nigeria by taking away business from local companies.