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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Over 5 000 small businesses graduate from Google Hustle Academy

The graduation ceremonies took place in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria

About 5,300 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from across the African continent graduated from Google‘s Hustle Academy on Thursday.

The graduation ceremonies took place in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

Google said the graduation demonstrates the impact of the Hustle Academy program, with over 10,000 entrepreneurs benefiting from it since its launch in 2022.

Making a difference

Speaking at the graduation at the Houghton Hotel, Alistair Mokoena, Country Director for Google, South Africa said there are people in society who make it their business to make a difference.

“Anything that you are exposed to in your daily lives, adds to what you are doing today. The stuff that you observe, the examples that you see around you, the people you look up to, that’s all free education that you are accessing.

“So, the fact that you are graduating says to us that you are a student of life and a student for life, a problem and solver, and care about making a difference to society. You have learnt that it’s not about you, it’s about serving a higher purpose and serving humanity.”

Mokena said the Hustle Academy program stands as a beacon of what practical training and resource provision can accomplish.

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The graduates represent small businesses in a wide range of industries, demonstrating the diverse and dynamic nature of entrepreneurship in South Africa.

Lufuno Rasoesoe, founder of South African-based business TOSH Detergents and a graduate said the training has been incredibly beneficial.

“It offered us concrete tools and strategies specifically tailored for businesses like ours.”


At the graduation ceremonies, Google also unveiled the Hustle Academy Impact Report – completed in an effort to quantify the program’s success and reinforce its commitment to the economic development of the region.

Key findings from the report found that upon graduating from the Hustle Academy, there has been an average creation of 4 jobs for every 10 businesses, a significant boost to employment with a mix of permanent and contract roles.

It also shows a significant shift in how the program graduates fund their businesses, with those accessing new funding sources—beyond friends and family—nearly doubling from 11% to 20% post-program.

The Hustle Academy program focuses on addressing the challenges faced by African SMBs and provides practical skills and resources that are essential for business growth.

This year’s cohort builds upon the foundation of the more than 5,000 SMBs who graduated last year.

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