Our partnership with Google currently supports Raleigh International’s Livelihoods programme in both Tanzania and Nicaragua. Our journey with Google began in April 2014 when 16 Google employees volunteered in the Arusha region of Tanzania. During this time, they supported the installation of a water system that now serves over 8,000 beneficiaries with safe and reliable water, within a community that had suffered for over 15 years with drought. Since then our partnership has developed, widening Google’s reach to support youth entrepreneurs.
In 2015, Raleigh used the key skills of 13 Googlers out in the field to assist Raleigh’s youth entrepreneurship programme in Sonis and Somoto, Totogalpa.
Throughout November a team of volunteers, who came from a variety of roles at Google, delivered workshops and provided one-on-one advice to entrepreneurs on how to promote their business both online and offline, whilst also developing key soft skills.
“The sessions delivered by the Google volunteers were immensely valuable for these young people. They highlighted that entrepreneurs not only need a good product, but also that through effective marketing and storytelling, they can make their businesses a success. Entrepreneurs now have a good understanding of how to present their products, and have been inspired to turn their business dreams into reality.”
– Jodie Hastie, Raleigh International Project Manager
A total of 18 businesses (including 2 cooperatives) were assisted by the Googlers which included a total of 38 entrepreneurs. As well as one-on-one mentoring the Googlers delivered 2 digital skills workshops as well as a forum on digital platforms. Additionally, 18 Action Plans were developed in tandem with the entrepreneurs including their own Business Model Canvas, marketing plans, and strategies for online exposure through social media.
In October 2016, a further 22 Googlers will be heading into the field in both Nicaragua and Tanzania to deliver a concurrent two-week intensive entrepreneurship training project that will build upon this tremendous partnership on a much wider scale, developing the skills of a new cohort of youth entrepreneurs in two countries.
In addition to the impact on these inspiring youth entrepreneurs, Raleigh’s programme with Google has shown for the 3rd year running that it is an effective personal professional development experience for the Googlers to sharpen their own leadership, team-working, problem-solving and communication skills. Last year 83% of the Googlers strongly agreed that the experience was valuable to their professional development. The Googlers, as responsible business leaders for the future, also benefit from the cross-cultural experience and understanding of global sustainability issues.
With this type of win-win impact in place, Raleigh hopes to continue its impact with Google through youth entrepreneurship and this skills-based volunteering model using Google corporate volunteers.