BY OLIVIA NNOROM
A total cash reward of $4 million black founders fund will be shared among 60 eligible black-founded startups in Africa for the second cohort of the Google for startup black founders fund for Africa (BFF).
The success of the first cohort last year influenced Google’s increasing its commitment with $1 million in funding and support for 10 additional founders this year, resulting in a commitment of $4 million to 60 black-founded startups in Africa.
The company, in a statement on Tuesday, said the initiative was launched in 2020 as part of its racial equality commitments and it is a pledge provided to drive economic opportunity for black business owners. The Black Founders’ Fund Africa (BFF) is open to startups in Botswana, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe, which are countries of prime focus due to their active tech and startup ecosystems.
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African businesses eligible for selection include early-stage startups with black founders or diverse founding teams, startups benefiting the black community, and operating and headquartered in Africa.
Selected startups will receive cash awards of between $50,000 and $100,000 and Google Cloud credits up to $200,000 per startup, training, and access to mentors for each startup.
Folarin Aiyegbusi, head of startup ecosystem, sub-Saharan Africa, said, “The Black Founders Fund Africa demonstrates our commitment to supporting innovation in underserved areas. Black-led tech startups face an unfair venture capital funding environment and that is why we are committed to helping them thrive, grow to be better and ensure the success of communities and economies in our region. The fund will provide cash awards and hands-on support to 60 black-led startups in Africa, which we hope will aid in developing affordable solutions to fundamental challenges affecting those at the base of the socio-economic pyramid in Africa.
“We are hopeful that the support received by the black founders will enable them to grow their business and in turn drive economic growth in Africa as they create solutions and give back to their communities,” said Aiyegusi.