A Google sign is pictured on a Google building in the Manhattan borough of New York City Photograph:( Reuters )
Google's new Impact Challenge, a philanthropic initiative was unveiled on International Women`s Day by the company's CEO Sundar Pichai
Alphabet Inc's Google has unveiled a $25 million global grant to non-profits and social enterprises globally, including in India, that are working on empowering girls and women.
The company, which has committed support of one million rural women entrepreneurs in India, also stated that its Internet Saathi digital literacy training programme has benefitted over 30 million women across the country.
Google's new Impact Challenge, a philanthropic initiative was unveiled on International Women`s Day by the company's CEO Sundar Pichai.
Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the technology giant, is aimed at addressing systemic barriers and inequities so that women have access to economic equality, the opportunity to build financial independence, and pursue entrepreneurism, said Google chief executive Sundar Pichai at a virtual event.
"We are announcing a new commitment to allow 1 million women in the rural villages to become entrepreneurs, through business tutorials, tools, and mentorship," he added.
"In India, in the past few years, we have invested more than USD 40 million alongside the entrepreneurs, the innovators, the non-profits who are doing amazing work. We announced another million-dollar initiative building on that work, in particular, to help to acquire digital skills to those who are most vulnerable, including women," Jacquelline Fuller, Vice President at Google and President of Google.Org, said in a virtual briefing.
She added that one of the first initiatives under that effort is led by the NASSCOM Foundation, wherein the organisation is getting a $500,000 grant from Google.Org to support one lakh women agricultural workers.
"Whatever these teams need, we are going to be alongside them and help carry out their vision," said Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org, at the event.
The company said it will accept applications from teams worldwide until April 9.
Fuller also announced that Google.org is going to invest an additional $1 million to help underserved women in India. Even as India is the world`s second-largest internet market, women make up a small percentage of online users in the country.
Five years ago, Google launched a program called `Internet Saathi` to bring internet literacy to women in rural parts of India. The company said the program, for which it collaborated with Indian conglomerate Tata, significantly helped improve women`s participation on the Indian internet.
Four of 10 internet users in rural India are now women, said Google, up from one in 10 in 2015. The company, citing its own research, said the Internet Saathi program benefited more than 30 million women in India and that it`s now concluding the program to focus on other efforts to continue this mission.
Sapna Chadha, Senior Country Marketing Director at Google India and Southeast Asia, said based on learnings from the Internet Saathi program, the company has launched the Women Will web platform that will be complemented by community support, mentorship and accelerator programmes for rural women entrepreneurs.