Monday, March 01, 2021

(JNS) Tech giant Google has granted Israeli nonprofit lender The Ogen Group a $1 million “impact loan” to boost the group’s low-interest loans to small businesses, Ogen announced this week.

Small businesses generate more than 35% of Israel’s gross national product and have lost 44% of their revenue on average during the country’s three COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns to date.

Google is the first international corporate investor to support Ogen’s efforts, according to the organization.

“Google’s investment in Ogen shows how business, nonprofit and government stakeholders can come together in 2021 to finance social ventures and develop a true impact on the economy in Israel,” said Ogen CEO Sagi Balasha, adding that he was “grateful to Google for this show of trust” in the company.

In addition, Google is giving another $500,000 to support the growth of its ShoppingIL Academy initiative, which helps small businesses expand to online sales and marketing. Keren-Shemesh, which is part of the Ogen Group, will provide long-term mentoring to the small business owners selected to participate in the initiative.