PRESS RELEASE - Google & MicroMentor Launch Event Plan

Dubai, UAE, May 3, 2023. Mercy Corps’ MicroMentor is working to expand access to mentorship for underserved and difficult-to-reach entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) through the development of an open-source mobile mentorship app. The application will be developed with pro bono support from Google through a dedicated team of Google employees participating in the Fellowship program. The project aims to reach 5000 female business entrepreneurs with no-cost mentorship, and relevant decarbonization content to adopt best practices by 2025. 

MicroMentor reports that in 2022, entrepreneurs with mentors were 12% more likely to access financial capital than those without, and 51% of female-owned small businesses increased their revenue when they worked with a mentor. Yet, many entrepreneurs lack access to those powerful connections and resources.

To increase access to virtual business mentoring and create long-lasting jobs for female entrepreneurs in MENA and around the world, MicroMentor will be building a mobile app that aims to dramatically increase access to social capital via business mentorship and will be designed to be easily adopted by other mentoring organizations for broader impact. A team of 8 dedicated technical Fellows - including Google engineers, UX Designers, program managers and more - will be working with them full time on a pro bono basis to support the app design and development. The app will use advanced technology to enable easier access to mentors and decarbonization content for underserved entrepreneurs through improved mentor matching, virtual training, a user-friendly design as well as new interactive features, notifications and scheduling options. This new application will be open-source and can be adopted by others working in the mentoring space, impacting the sector at large. 

The support from the Fellowship builds on a $1 million grant from to support MicroMentor’s work to increase the knowledge and adoption of sustainable business practices for MSMEs in the region.

"We are thrilled to receive this support from to help expand access to mentorship for female entrepreneurs in the MENA region,“ said Anita Ramachandran, Executive Director of MicroMentor. “By leveraging Google's technical expertise and resources, we can overcome geographical limitations and deliver business resources at scale to under-resourced communities through mentoring.”

Martin Roeske, Google’s Government Affairs and Public Policy Director for MENA said  “At Google, we believe that successful, sustained business mentorship can drive significant outcomes for mentees. By supporting MicroMentor with our most valuable resource – our Google tech experts – we hope to make a contribution to their goal of supporting green businesses and empowering female entrepreneurs in the region.” 

The project was marked by a launch event today at the Google Dubai Innovation Hub to raise awareness of the importance of business mentoring as a key economic development lever. Regional industry and government leaders were among the attendees who learned about’s latest investments in MENA to support entrepreneurs in building sustainable businesses.

About Mercy Corps’ MicroMentor:

MicroMentor's online business mentoring program enables the world's largest community of purpose-driven entrepreneurs and business mentors to create powerful connections, solve problems, and build successful businesses together. 

About, Google’s philanthropy, brings the best of Google to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges combining funding, product donations and technical expertise to support underserved communities and provide opportunity for everyone. The Fellowship is a pro bono program that matches Google employees with nonprofits and civic entities for technical projects.

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