Google is committed to its entrepreneur-focused programmes in Africa, this time with Black-focused initiative designed to help startups – Google for Start-up Black Founders Fund (BFF).
On Tuesday, the web search giant said that 60 eligible Black-founded start-ups would receive a total of $4 million in the second cohort of BFF, NAN reports.
Mr Folarin Aiyegbusi, Google’s Head of Start-up Ecosystem, Africa, made this known in a statement announcing opening of applications for Google for Start-up Black Founders Fund for Africa.
Registration for Tekedia Mini-MBA edition 9 (Sep 12- Dec 3 2022) has started. Register here. Cost is N60,000 or $140 for the 12-week program.
Aiyegbusi said that following the success of the first cohort in 2021, Google increased its commitment in 2022 with additional one million dollars in funding, and support for 10 more founders.
He said that it would result in a commitment of four million dollars to 60 eligible Black-founded start-ups across Africa.
According to him, BFF Africa is open to start-ups in Nigeria, Botswana, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
He said that while the 13 countries were the prime focus due to their active tech and start-up ecosystems, strong applications from other African countries would be considered.
‘’The Black Founders Fund Africa demonstrates our commitment to supporting innovations in underserved areas.
‘’Black-led tech start-ups face an unfair venture capital funding environment; that is why we are committed to helping them thrive to be better and ensure the success of communities and economies in our region.
‘’The fund will provide cash awards and hands-on support to 60 Black-led start-ups in Africa, which we hope will aid in developing affordable solutions to fundamental challenges affecting those at the base of the socio-economic pyramid in Africa.
‘’We are hopeful that the support received by the Black founders will enable them to grow their businesses and, in turn, drive economic growth in Africa as they create solutions and give back to their communities,” he said.
He said selected start-ups will receive between $50,000 and $100,000 non-dilutive cash awards and up to $200,000 per start up in Google Cloud credits.
Aiyegbusi further said that support in the form of training and access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges unique to each start-up, would be provided and that early-stage start-ups with black founders or diverse founding teams were eligible for selection for BFF.
According to him, start-ups which are benefitting Black community and those operating and headquartered in Africa as well as those with diverse founding team, with at least one Black founding member, were also eligible.
He said that those having legal presence on the continent and building technology solutions for Africa and the global market and those with potential to raise more funding and create jobs were equally eligible.
Google for Start-ups Black Founders Fund was launched in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement as part of Google’s racial equality commitment.
The initiative is aimed at driving economic opportunities for Black business owners.
Interested applicants can find more information at http://goo.gle/BFFAfrica. Application closes on May 31, while winners will be announced on July 29.
Google had in 2021 doled out $1 billion for multi-faceted investment fund in Africa. Entrepreneurs and startups have begun to benefit from the fund which covers a range of initiatives – from improved connectivity to investments in startups for a period of five years.