Google launches Woza Online in South Africa

Google announced today (19 January 2012) the launch of Woza Online – an initiative that aims to bring tens of thousands of small and medium businesses (SME) online in South Africa.

Using the platform, businesses will be able to create their own websites and develop an online presence at no charge.

According to the interim results of the latest SME survey conducted by World Wide Worx, it was found that having an online presence is “crucial to being competitive, profitable and sustainable.”

Statistics presented by World Wide Worx MD, Arthur Goldstuck, at the Innovation Centre in Pretoria, showed that 79% of SMEs with a website reported profitability – this compared to only 59% of SMEs without a website reporting the same.

Woza Online is an initiative by Google, partnering with Vodacom, the Department of Trade & Industry, and the Human Resources Development Council.

Businesses participating in the initiative get:

  • a free easy-to-build professional website;
  • a free sub-domain name and hosting;
  • an automatic listing on Google Places which reflects in Google Maps;
  • access to training material and workshops;
  • free online support available via Google Chat and e-mail;
  • 1 year free top-level .co.za domain name for first 10,000 applicants.

The programme was launched in Kenya and Nigeria last year, with these countries seeing over 20,000 businesses going online within the first two months.

Woza Online

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Google launches Woza Online in South Africa