Google has announced the launch of Getting Kenyan Businesses Online Program (G.K.B.O), an initiative targeted at thousands of Kenya SMEs, including sole traders, who do not have a website or online presence.

According to Google, together with its partners, “GKBO will provide free or subsidized services to help businesses to use web and internet technologies. This includes supporting organizations that provide assistance for small and medium businesses, as well as other industry organizations that are aligned with the aims of the initiative.”

The program was launched today at Google’s G-Kenya event. Entitled ‘The Next Iteration of Digital’, G-Kenya 2011 is aimed at equipping Kenyan techies, developers and internet enthusiasts with tips, tricks and tools to succeed online.

G.K.B.O will provide Kenyan businesses with a free site building tool to set up their site in minutes. In addition, participating Kenyan businesses would be provided with:

  • Free .kbo.co.ke. web address (e.g. www.mamamboga.kbo.co.ke) for businesses
  • Free online marketing through business listings
  • Free ongoing tips and education

The program will hopefully help launch thousands of Kenyan business listings online, thus providing much-needed local content for Kenyans online. In addition, savvy web developers will likely be able to benefit from the initiative by providing complementary I.T. services to support the businesses. It is likely that in the coming years, there will be many more Kenyan businesses built around supporting the burgeoning Internet ecosystem in Kenya by providing web consulting services ranging from site design to search engine optimization services. Currently, this market is nascent in Kenya.

For more information on the program, visit www.kbo.co.ke.