Google, a technology company, has chosen 60 qualified firms with black founders from throughout Africa for its second Black Founders Fund (BFF) for the area. To help them expand their current work, the startups that join the program will get a total of $4 million in investment and support.
Each of the chosen businesses will get support in the form of a six-month training program, which will give them access to a network of mentors to help them overcome problems that are particular to them. Additionally, they will participate in specialized workshops, support groups, and community-building activities. A non-dilutive award of between $50,000 and $100,000 as well as up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit will also be given to the 60 awardees.
The 50% women-owned firms that make up the grantees are from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. Fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agtech, education, hospitality, and smart cities are among the industries in which they specialize.
The top five nations with the greatest number of companies accepted into the program are Nigeria, with 23 grantees, Kenya, with 12, Rwanda, with 6, South Africa, with 5, and Uganda, with 4. Senegal and Botswana each have one chosen startup, Cameroon and Ghana each have three chosen grantees, and Ethiopia has two chosen grantees.
Head of Startup Ecosystem, SSA, Folarin Aiyegbusi, said: “Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunity but the continent is faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow. We hope that the Black Founders Fund programme will be able to bridge the gap of disproportionate funding between expat startups over local and black-led companies.”
The Google for Startups program, which was introduced in April 2012, has generated more than $290 million in funding and over 4,600 new jobs. The Google for Startups Black Entrepreneurs Fund program will educate grantees in Africa about Google’s products, contacts, and best practices, helping the founders level the playing field as they develop better goods and services that contribute to the African economy.
Chief Executive Officer, MyMedicines and alumni of the 2021 BFF program, Abimbola Adebakin, said: “Programs like the Black Founders Fund enhance the African ecosystem – where we currently have gaps in funding and infrastructure. Google getting involved and throwing its might behind thriving entrepreneurs in Africa is a beautiful thing, and I am very happy that Google has continued the Black Founders Fund in Africa initiative in 2022.”
Google’s implementation partner, CcHUB, will disperse funding for the Google for Startup Black Founders Fund.
“The equity-free cash assistance to startups will enable them to take care of immediate needs such as paying staff, funding inventory, and maintaining software licences. This is to help the grantees buffer the cost of taking on debt in the early stages of their business as many of them do not have steady revenue streams yet,” Aiyegbusi added.