Google is committing $4million to 60 eligible start-ups across Africa as applications open for the second cohort of the ‘Google for Start-up Black Founders Fund for Africa’.
Google for Startups Black Founders Fund was launched in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement as part of Google’s racial equality commitments. The initiative is a pledge toward driving economic opportunity for Black business owners, Daily Trust reports.
The BFF provides support to start-ups in the region in the form of equity-free cash assistance that helps them take care of immediate needs such as paying staff, funding inventory, and maintaining software licenses.
Following the success of the first cohort last year, Google has increased its commitment with an additional $1 million in funding, and support for 10 more founders this year; resulting in a commitment of $4m to 60 eligible, black-founded start-ups across Africa.
The Fund is open to startups that meet the eligibility criteria in Nigeria, Botswana, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
While these thirteen countries are the prime focus due to their active tech and startup ecosystems, strong applications from other African countries will also be considered.
According to the Head of Startup Ecosystem, SSA, Folarin Aiyegbusi, selected startups will receive between $50,000 and $100,000 non-dilutive cash awards and up to $200,000 each in the Google Cloud credits, training, and access to a network of mentors to support their work.
The fund, Aiyegbusi said, will provide cash awards and hands-on support to 60 Black-led startups in Africa, which will aid in developing affordable solutions to fundamental challenges affecting those at the base of the socio-economic pyramid in Africa.
Applications will close on May 31, while winners will be announced on July 29, 2022.