In the framework of the IX Summit of the Americas, Sundar PichaiCEO of Google and Alphabet, announced an engagement by the company to contribute US$ 1,200 million over the next five years with the aim of supporting and promoting the economic development of the region through digital transformation.
In order to boost economic recovery after the crisis left by the pandemic, Google’s announcement is based on four pillars: 1) Digital infrastructure; 2) Training in talent and digital skills; 3) Entrepreneurial ecosystem and 4) Communities.
“I always thought that technology is a great enabler and has a unique ability to help people access new opportunities. Digital transformation can bring a lot to Latin America, a region where the pandemic hit very hard and where closing the digital divide is key to an inclusive recovery,” said Sundar Pichai.
Thus, among others, the commitments assumed by Google for the next 5 years include:
- ● The launch of the Firmina submarine cable by 2023.
● Increase the engineering force in Brazil (where we already have, since 2005, our engineering center for Latin America, located in Belo Horizonte).
● 1 million scholarships for Google Career Certificates, in order to increase and promote digital talent.
● The launch of Google Wallet, the digital wallet that will be available in Chile and Brazil in the coming months, and will later be extended to other countries in the region, allowing consumers to make payments quickly and safely.
● US$300 million ($50 million in monetary contributions and US$250 in advertising credits) from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm to support NGOs focused on areas such as sustainability and creating economic opportunities for women.
- Laying the foundations and infrastructure needed to prosper as a region: With an active presence in the region since 2005, Google has constantly invested in technical infrastructure in Latin America to improve access to services such as Search, Gmail and YouTube, as well as Google Cloud. In recent years, the company has significantly expanded its presence and invested in
projects such as submarine cables (Curie, Tannat, Monet), new regions for Google Cloud, infrastructure dedicated to cloud services (in São Paulo, Brazil and Santiago, Chile), and the expansion of its data center in Quilicura, Chile. These investments also include future projects such as the Firmina submarine cable, which in 2023 will connect North America with South America across the Atlantic. All of these projects are critical to improving the availability and quality of Google services in the region. Looking ahead, our Cloud regions will continue to help more organizations accelerate their digital transformation and build on long-term growth. Also, part of the announced commitment will be used to increase the engineering team in Brazil, with a focus on essential areas, such as privacy and security, as well as the creation and development of better products for the region and the world.
- Training people in digital skills to promote quality employment: The training and education of people in digital skills is another focus of the support projected by Google for the region. Through the “Grow with Google” program, the company has already trained almost 8 million people since 2017. Added to this are the “Google Career Certificates”, a series of courses created in recent years that offer, to people from different social sectors, key skills in fields of high demand, without the need for
have a university degree or previous experience. With the commitment announced today, the granting of 1 million scholarships for Career Certificates is expected.
- Investing in innovation and entrepreneurship to boost the digital ecosystem: Supporting the development of new businesses and promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem is another of the objectives of the package announced by Google. When the company opened the Google for Startups campus in Brazil in 2016, there were no unicorns in the region. Today, 13 of the 35 unicorns that Latin America has were part of the
Google-powered programs, and in 2020, the region posted a record $15.3 billion in startup funding. Google for Startups Accelerator LATAM, for its part, already links dozens of companies in the early stage of development with mentoring and expert advice. Among some of the notable participants who went through the program are Ualá, Ripio, ComparaOnline and TiendaNube. With investment, resources, and training, Google has supported more than 450 startups in Latin America to date, creating 25,000 jobs and raising more than $9 billion in investments.
- Helping communities to develop in a sustainable and inclusive environment: Through Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, the company has supported organizations such as Laboratoria in Peru, the Colnodo Association in Colombia, the Instituto Rede Mulher Empreendedora in Brazil or, more recently, Pro Mujer in Central America, all organizations that work to spread the benefits of digital transformation to marginalized communities. To continue with the objective of helping to build more inclusive and sustainable societies, Google.org will grant US $300 million between monetary contributions (US $50 million) and advertising credits (US $250 million) in order to support Latin American non-profit organizations focused on in areas such as sustainability and creating economic opportunities for youth, women and underrepresented groups. Part of these donations will go, for example, to Pro Mujer, which will help women-led businesses in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to access training and microcredit. Donations will also support organizations working to reduce carbon emissions in the Amazon rainforest, among others.
All these investments, finally, are based on a long-standing commitment to a region where Google has been present for 17 years. “It is exciting to see Latin America emerge as a hub for innovation, and we look forward to creating even more economic opportunity for those who call this land ‘home,’” concluded Pichai.