Google is looking for black-owned start-ups to support
In pursuit of its commitment to drive digital transformation, Google has opened applications for the third cohort of Black Founders Fund for startups in Africa and Europe.
This year, Google has committed US$4-million to support eligible black-founded startups operating and headquartered in Africa or having a legal presence on the continent.
By funding Black founders, Google says it is promoting job creation and wealth generation in Africa.
The Black Founders Fund program for startups provides funding, hand on support, connections and resources to help founders build solutions that are relevant for the African economy.
Following the successful completion of two cohorts of the Black Founders Fund, the program has supported a total of 110 black-owned startups across Africa. 60 growth-stage startups were selected and supported through the program last year in Africa.
In a statement, the company says eligibility criteria for startups that wish to apply “are that the business should be benefiting the black community or that early-stage startups have black founders or diverse founding teams”.
Also, the startups should be building for Africa and the global market, have the growth potential to raise more funding, create jobs and generally be making measurable impact.
Upon selection, the startups will receive up to US$150,000 equity-free cash awards and up to US$200,000 per startup in Google Cloud credits, support in the form of training, and access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling the challenges unique to each startup.
The applications for the third cohort will close on 26 March, 2023.
“Startups are a critical driver of innovation, economic growth and social progress especially in Africa and the support that the selected startups will receive will go a long way to unlock the potential and promote growth in the African tech ecosystem and the next generation of African tech entrepreneurs. We encourage all eligible startups to apply” says Folarin Aiyegbusi, head of startup ecosystem, Google Sub Saharan Africa.
Africa has a growing population with 1 in 3 Africans estimated to be under 35 by 2050 and Google says, the continent presents a huge opportunity for startups to provide innovative solutions for the growing market.
It is also estimated that by 2025, the African Internet economy will have the potential to add up to US$180-billion to Africa’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).