Google sets up a $26m loan fund to help small businesses in Africa hit with coronavirus

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Google is teaming up with the European Investment Fund (EIF) and two other organisations to help Small and medium-sized companies suffering from the impact of COVID-19.
Google, a unit of Alphabet in partnership with Kiva, an organization that crowdfunds loans, said on Wednesday is setting up a $26 million loan to help businesses in Africa

This fund will help support more than 1000 businesses through these loans. Google’s investment builds on their efforts to provide tools, training and funding to people and SMEs recovering from the pandemic.
The life sciences venture capital fund-of-funds will target businesses operating in various fields across the industry, ranging from therapeutics and medical technologies, to digital health and healthcare.
This fund will help support approximately 200 life sciences companies, many of which are directly involved in developing solutions to the COVID-19 crisis.
EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard said: “Google is the first corporate to invest in these funds, and we look forward to welcoming other corporates and investors so that we can strengthen the ecosystem to support even more small companies with financing”.

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Matt Brittin, President, Google, Europe, Middle East and Africa added: “This investment is part of Google’s $800+ million commitment in response to COVID-19 relief efforts announced last year, and our ongoing efforts to provide tools, training and funding to help people recover. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the European economy and we are proud to be part of these funds and join the EIF in their mission to help small businesses access finance and foster innovation in Europe’s life sciences industry.”
Having provided capital to over 1.5 million SMEs throughout Europe with more than 6.8 million jobs supported, the EIF has a longstanding commitment to its community and to the small business financial ecosystem.

Last year, Google renewed its commitment to providing tools, training and funding to people and small businesses navigating the effects of the pandemic. This includes its Grow with Google program, which has trained millions of people on digital skills since it was founded five years ago, and contributed to two million Europeans finding a new job or growing their business or career, and products which help small businesses stay connected with customers and grow online.

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