The Google for Startups Founders Funds was established in 2020 and has had two editions since then. It announced the opening for applications for the third edition of the Black Founders Fund for Startups in Africa and Europe, which aligns with its pledge to digital transformation and support to black-founded startups.
Since its inception, the program has invested greatly in terms of funds to startups in Africa. It has provided more than $30 million to assist Black-led startups in Africa, Brazil, Europe, and the United States, and Latino-led startups in the United States. In the last two successful cohorts, a number of 110 black-owned businesses in Africa benefited from the program. It also supported and assisted more than 60 growth-stage businesses in Africa last year.
According to the tech company, startups eligible for application must be operating and headquartered in Africa or have a legal presence on the continent. For this year’s cohort, Google has committed $4 million to assist eligible startups in Africa. It highlighted other eligibility requirements for startups that want to apply, the business must be benefiting the black community or that early-stage startups should be founded by blacks or have several founding teams. The startup should also be contributing to the African market as well as the world’s, it should have the prospects of raising more funding, creating jobs, and in a general sense, making a handful of impact.
Following selection, startups will receive equity-free cash awards of approximately $150,000, alongside an ongoing Google mentorship, Google Cloud credits, assistance in terms of training, and access to a network of mentors to help solve problems unique to each startup. Applications for the third cohort are ongoing and will be closing on 26th March 2023.
Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Google sub-Saharan Africa said that “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”, he added that the eligible startups are very well encouraged to apply.
Through and by means of funding Black founders, Google has been able to promote the creation of jobs and the generation of wealth in Africa. The funding of Black-founded startups not only provides funds but also hands-on support, connections, and resources to support entrepreneurs create solutions that are important to the African economy.