The Internet is playing a key role in Africa’s economic transition, generating new possibilities and paving the path for economic and social growth. According to a 2020 report, Africa’s Internet economy is expected to contribute nearly $189 billion to the continent’s overall GDP by 2025, rising to $712 billion by 2050.
Google has announced a series of initiatives aimed at developing targeted programs that assist African Startups in accessing technical and financial assistance to support them in developing technologies that will benefit everyone.
The programs, which include a $3 million USD Black Founders Fund for African startups and a $3 million USD Google.org grant to help low-income communities develop entrepreneurial skills and funding, will help Black founders grow their businesses not only by providing capital but also by providing access to the best of Google resources.
Last year Google announced the Startups Black Founders Fund as part of a series of racial equity commitments to close the funding gap and empower Black entrepreneurs in the US, Brazil, and Europe. Following the success of the Black Founders Fund around the world, Google is expanding the program with the first $3M Black Founders Fund in Africa.
The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa
provides grants and technical assistance to early-stage startups led by black and diverse teams, or with a goal of advancing the Black community. This $3M non-dilutive fund will be allocated across a pipeline of 50 investable startups in Africa, with each firm receiving up to $100,000 in cash awards. Each selected company will also receive $220,000 in Google Cloud Credits and Ad Grants, as well as mentoring, technical and scaling assistance from the best of Google. The equity-free fund is available to entrepreneurs developing for Africa, on the continent.
Google has partnered with the Co-Creation Hub, a Google for Startups partner and leading tech community hub with a presence in Nigeria, Kenya, and Rwanda, to distribute the funding to the 50 selected companies across Africa.
Applications are open from today until July 7th and eligible startups can visit goo.gle/BFFAfrica now to apply.
Read: Google Launches “Google for Non-profits” Empowerment Programme In Nigeria
$3 million USD Google.org grant
Since 2017, Google.org through a $20M commitment has prioritized funding to nonprofit organizations that support access to economic opportunity for women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Alongside financing, Google provides bespoke learning solutions and mentoring programs required for accelerating women-led companies.
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Google.org is also giving $3M to the Tony Elumelu Foundation, who through their annual entrepreneurship program will provide entrepreneurship training, mentorship, coaching, and access to networks and key markets for at least 5000 women, as well as seed capital in the form of one-time cash grants to 500 African female informal business-owners in rural and low-income communities across Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and select Francophone countries. This is aimed at enabling and preparing these women who otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to navigate their independent business journey through the critical start-up and early growth phase.