Google Helps South African Businesses Get Online
Maybe all of those accusations levied at Google about the company being "evil" are just a little premature.
Recently, the search/social/email/and more company announced a new program that will help small businesses in South Africa get online by helping them build a website and providing free Web hosting.
This isn't the first such initiative that Google has undertaken. The company has brought over 20,000 businesses in Kenya and Nigeria online, and Google also recently partnered with HostGator to offer free hosting in India.
South Africa's government's Department of Trade and Industry partnered with Google on the program, as well as the Human Resources Development Council and Vodacom, who will provde the hosting.
Participating businesses will get a professional website, sub-domain name and hosting for free, as well as an automatic listing on Google Places, training manuals, access to workshops and free online support through Google chat and email. The first 10,000 applicants will also receive a top-level .co.za domain name free for a year.
South Africa is currently facing high numbers of unemployment and poverty, but small businesses seem to be a beacon of hope for the country's struggling economy, providing jobs for 65 percent of the employed population.