Google loans Ogen Group $1M to support and revive Israeli small businesses

Google is the first international corporate impact investor to support Ogen in this way.

Israeli flag as Google doodle, Independence Day 2019 (photo credit: HAGAY HACOHEN)
Israeli flag as Google doodle, Independence Day 2019
(photo credit: HAGAY HACOHEN)
The Ogen Group has received an “impact loan” of $1 million from Google toward Ogen’s low-interest loans to small businesses throughout Israel.
Google is the first international corporate impact investor to support Ogen in this way, following a commitment the tech giant made in 2020 to invest $200 million in NGOs and financial institutions around the globe. The move is meant to provide small businesses with access to capital, as well as help them recover from the economic damage caused by the global pandemic.
In 2020, Ogen directed almost $20 million to small businesses, which was part of the $50 million that the group loaned to low-income households and nonprofits. This year, Ogen plans to lend an additional $30M to small businesses.
In August, Israel’s Finance Ministry issued Ogen State Guarantees on its loans, making Ogen the first not-for-profit lender to hold this desired status. Israel's decision to sign on as a guarantor ultimately led to Google’s decision to commit its support to Ogen.
“I’m grateful to Google for this show of trust in Ogen’s ability to spark growth for small businesses in Israel and support the economic recovery through our affordable and accessible loans, providing first-class financial access to underserved Israelis,” said Sagi Balasha, CEO of the Ogen Group.
Balasha added: “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 economy in Israel."
“Small businesses are the heart of the economy, and in the past year we have felt the need to do more for them” says Barak Regev, Google Israel country manager. “We joined Ogen in order to financially help and support more businesses, while continuing our effort to digitize small business in Israel.”

Small businesses, which are the life force of Israel’s workforce and economy and bring in more than 35% of GDP, have been severely impacted by lockdown restrictions, losing 44% of revenue on average.
Google is also granting an additional $500,000 to support the expansion of its ShoppingIL Academy initiative, which helps small businesses adopt online sales and marketing.