Google has announced applications for the third cohort of Black Founders Fund for Startups opened in Africa and Europe in line with its commitment to digital transformation and support to black-founded startups. This year, Google has committed $4 million (Ksh507 million) to support eligible black-founded startups.
Startups operating and headquartered in Africa or having a legal presence on the continent are eligible to apply for the Black Founders Fund. Other 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. 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 a measurable impact.
Upon selection, the startups will receive up to $150,000 (Ksh19 million) equity-free cash awards and up to $200,000 (Ksh25 million) 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 March 26, 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.
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.
Africa has a growing population with 1 in 3 Africans estimated to be under 35 by 2050. 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 $180 billion to Africa’s GDP.
The Black Founders Fund program for startups not only provides funding but also hands-on support, connections, and resources to help founders build solutions that are relevant to the African economy.
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