'Grow Croatia with Google' Programme
The 'Grow Croatia with Google' programme was implemented by Google Croatia together with the Labour Ministry and the Croatian Employment Service, with the aim of helping Croatian people and businesses reap the full benefits of the digital transformation and ensure the labour market is equipped with the skills needed to do so. The initiative has been present in Croatia since 2017, as an aid for SMEs and individuals looking to acquire digital skills, and finished at the end of 2021. In 2020, the programme was also upgraded to reflect the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and the increased speed of digitalisation.
Background and aims
The online platform of the programme is a useful tool for both businesses and individuals due to the breadth of its training content and a variety of tools and resources on offer. For example, businesses and SMEs can receive free online guidance on aspects closely linked to business development - including tips on setting up an online business, improving digitalisation within processes or services to reap results, or advice on where to find support to fund new products and ideas. Individuals on the other hand have access to a repository of resources to help them grow personally and professionally, such as tips on finding a new job, overviews of current trends in the job market, guidance for remote work, different types of roles and the skills needed for them, and many others.
Why is this a good practice?
'Grow Croatia with Google' has achieved significant results since the launch of the programme back in 2017. From 2017 to 2020, the Grow Croatia with Google programme has already helped 37.000 people all over Croatia get the digital skills they need to be confident actors in the world of work.
From July to October 2020, 390 SMEs were granted financial support as programme beneficiaries, thereby given an opportunity (and the means) to further expand business development. According to the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ), during this same period, another 300 self-employed individuals also completed the programme. Workshops set up by Google and HZZ attracted many young people and SMEs and received positive feedback in terms of both relevance and engagement.
Between 2020 and 2021, the programme helped another 10.000 SMEs with digital tools, guidance, and training, accelerate the digital transformation of their business and to adopt new knowledge and tools to facilitate their work and to help them return even stronger after the crisis.