Back in September 2012, Google launched Google for Entreprenurs. There was buzz, it vanished, and I remained confused as to what it is and how it might help entrepreneurs. In today's post I'll help clear the way for you to understand what it is, how you might use it in your business, and if it is a fit for you.
The official site for Google Entrepreneurs says
You have an idea. Make it happen.
Discover local programs and online resources to launch and scale your business.
OK, but what does that really mean? After all you could just do a Google search in your local area for business resources.
Forbes magazine gives us a bit more meat in their article Google Launches Global Entrepreneurs Initiative:
According to Mary Grove, head of the company’s global entrepreneurship outreach, the program – Google Entrepreneurs – is supported by three main pillars: Google’s partnerships with entrepreneurial organizations, programs the company is sponsoring or supporting more directly and Google products that could be advantageous to fledgling startups.
It is not an incubator, accelerator, or venture fund. It's meant to be a connector between these things and more. The goal is to make it easier for startups to connect with Google tools (and that of its partners) when they need it. In this way a global community of entrepreneurs can be build both online and off.
So, what's in it for Google? According to the Mashable article announcing its release:
What does Google get out of it? It gets its tools in the hands of entrepreneurs early, ensuring that Google's products becomes the building blocks of their businesses. It also helps Google keep an eye on promising acquisitions -- just other incubators funded by big tech companies, such as Facebook's FbFund and Google's own Google Ventures do.
As you might expect, there is a dedicated Google+ Page for Google Entrepreneurs.
Business essentials (aka essential Google products for business) highlights Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google+ for Business, and Google Apps for Business. Of course once you click through on these items there is a plethora of other offerings. While it's great that everything is one place, I found it to be an overwhelming list. A "follow the yellow brick road" site flow would be very helpful to tame the overwhelm and point people to where they need to go first based on what kind of entrepreneur they are and in what stage their business is currently.
What is pretty cool about the initiative (besides the launch events in 26 cities spanning 13 countries the first week), is their support for entrepreneurial activities in the developing world. The Business Insider expressed this impact well:
It would have been easy for a company like Google to put up a bunch of web tools and re-label them as “...for entrepreneurs” – and then hold a few live sessions in Silicon Valley. But to put feet on the ground in Nairobi and Nashville and Ho Chi Mihh City and Haifa is a different matter entirely.
Obviously if you are a true startup (meaning plans to be far more than a 1 or 2 person shop), the resources here can be very helpful connecting you across the globe with other startup businesses and resources. If your company has a global reach or deals with developing countries, this portal and the partnerships will be invaluable to you.
But, what if you're a small business owner or solo-entrepreneur? You can certainly still benefit from the Google applications for business. In fact I raved about how Google Apps for Business solved a nagging problem for me in this post called "Email Simplified". The fact that so many of the Google resources are in one place helps you navigate your options (if you can avoid overwhelm). Finding places to gather (online and off) to network and learn is also something from which you could benefit.
Time will tell what direction Google for Entrepreneurs takes and its impact.
Are you using Google for Entrepreneurs? Would love to hear from your initial experiences in the comments.
Paula Gregorowicz plucks women off the hamster wheel of overwhelm, struggle, and self-doubt and guides them to a purposeful path of building authentic and successful businesses.
Download the Free Report: Your Own Uniqueness: The Path to Purpose, Prosperity, and Playfulness at http://www.thepaulagcompany.com.
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