Google to boost SA business PDF Print E-mail

Search engine giant Google today unveiled Woza Online, an initiative that aims to bring tens of thousands of small and medium South African businesses online.

Google says the site will enable businesses to create their own Web sites at www.wozaonline.co.za, thereby developing an online presence – for free and in under an hour.

The initiative is a partnership between Woza Online and the Department of Trade and Industry, Vodacom and the Human Resources Development Council. “[The initiative] hopes to transform the South African SME landscape, and drive economic growth and job creation.”
 
The project is also supported by Lead SA, the Primedia Broadcasting and Independent Group of Newspapers initiative that aims to mobilise change among South Africans for the benefit of the country.
 
According to the interim results of the latest SME survey conducted by World Wide Worx (January 2012), there is a strong link between being online and being competitive, profitable and sustainable. Some 79% of SMEs with a Web site reported profitability, whereas only 59% of SMEs without a Web site reported the same.
 
Businesses participating in the initiative get a professional Web site, sub-domain name and hosting, automatic listing on Google Places, access to training material and workshops, online support available via Google Chat and e-mail. The first 10 000 applicants will get a free top-level .co.za domain name for a year.
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