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Google to invest €200,000 in Molenbeek coding school

11:21 06/06/2018

Google will invest €200,000 in MolenGeek, a Molenbeek start-up that teaches young people to code and helps them launch their own businesses.

The money will be used to build more classrooms, hire more teachers and buy additional learning materials. Google volunteers will also spend time with the MolenGeek staff to help them develop tutorials in French, Dutch and English focusing on various digital skills.

Launched three years ago by Julie Foulon and Ibrahim Oussari, MolenGeek teaches young people without a degree or previous tech experience how to code. It also serves as an incubator for start-up projects and has housed a co-working space since 2016.

“MolenGeek’s primary mission is to make technology, entrepreneurship and innovation accessible to everyone, regardless of their academic and religious background,” Oussari said in a press release announcing the Google donation.

Since its launch in 2015, MolenGeek has helped 177 people launch their own business or find a new job with their new coding skills. The incubator, meanwhile, has helped 25 start-ups get off the ground.

Google director of EU public policy Lie Junius, who grew up in Molenbeek herself, said that the company’s support for MolenGeek illustrates its belief in digitisation as a launching pad. “Google believes that getting young talent involved in rewarding projects, such as MolenGeek, is important to deliver more opportunities for everyone,” she said in a press release.

Photo: BELGA/AFP