As part of this week’s New Orleans Entrepreneur Week hosted by Idea Village, representatives from software giant Google paid a visit to New Orleans to educate local business owners on how to implement Google software and strategies to make their companies more successful.
Google teamed up with the Louisiana Minority Supplier Development Council to establish and increase the web presence of local businesses. According to a report done by Google, the company generated $81 million of economic activity in 2009. What Google found was that minority communities are generally underserved and underrepresented online, an important business aspect in today’s economic climate, said Chris Genteel, the coordinator of Google’s community outreach program.
In addition to meeting with the owners of the businesses, Google is training a handful of Louisianians to become Google certified professionals. These trainees will help Louisiana businesses in the long-term, even after the Google employees leave New Orleans.
It’s a tremendous opportunity for the council,” Phala Kimbrough Mire, president of the LMSDC said. “For Google to step in like they have…they are putting their money in our council to develop business and they’re making (local business owners) aware of Google products. The bigger picture is that (local business owners) are getting an education in online sales. That kind of knowledge, they will not get it anywhere else,” she said.
By the end of the year, Google expects to have 10 certified professionals in the state. The company donated $100,000 to the LMSDC to help the council increase the web presence of minority-owned businesses.
“The message here is about doing business online,” Mire said.