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Women Will: Will this Google for India initiative change the destiny of women in rural India?

International Women’s day, Google has announced its plan to support 1 million women in rural villages to become entrepreneurs through their new Google for India project ‘Women Will’. Google has also announced the launching of $25 million Google.org ‘Impact Challenge for Women and Girls’ to fund projects that address systemic barriers to economic equality, globally.

The web platform ‘Women Will’ will support rural women in India to pursue their ambitions and improve their livelihoods through entrepreneurship. The platform, available in English and Hindi, will provide guidance and support to women who want to convert an existing hobby or talent such as tailoring, beauty services, home tuition, and food processing into some income. This will be done with its business tutorials, tools, and mentorship. Initially, this platform will work with the help of 2000 Internet Saathis who would help other women gain from this resource and start their entrepreneurial journey.

Launched in 2015, Internet Saathi is a joint initiative of Google India and Tata Trusts. Internet Saathi’s are digitally-trained women in rural communities who train other women, thereby building a growing network of trainers who impart digital literacy to rural people. 80,000 women trainers called Internet Saathis worked hard to bring digital literacy to 30 million women across 300,000 villages in rural India. The success of the Internet Saathi programme has shown how digital literacy and access can help women to reach their full potential and improve their livelihoods said Sundar Pichai, the  CEO of Google and Alphabet.

Pichai said empowering women entrepreneurs could create hundreds of millions of jobs and help more people benefit from India’s growing digital economy. When women have equal access to opportunity, everyone benefits from their perspectives, creativity, and expertise.

Jacqueline Fuller, President of Google Org said in a blog post that if women and girls are given the resources and opportunities to turn their potential to power, it changes the trajectory of their lives as well as strengthens communities. She said she learned this while living in India, where public health programs that put resources and decision-making in the hands of women drove much stronger outcomes for their families and villages.

Google’s Impact Challenge for Women and Girls will provide $25 million in grants to nonprofits and social organizations globally, committed to advance women and girls’ economic empowerment and create pathways to prosperity. Also, Impact Challenge grantees will receive mentoring from Googlers, Ad Grants, and additional support.

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