Google Launches $4m Black Founders Fund for Startups in Africa
Google has announced the launch of applications for the third cohort of its Black Founders Fund (BFF) for startups in Africa and Europe.
Folarin Aiyegbusi, the Head of Startup Ecosystem, Google sub-Saharan Africa, made this announcement on Tuesday in Lagos, stating that the technology company has set aside $4 million to support eligible black-founded startups in 2023.
Aiyegbusi said that the BFF program is in line with Google’s commitment to digital transformation and supporting black-founded startups.
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The startups eligible to apply for the BFF are those operating and headquartered in Africa or having a legal presence on the continent.
Startups benefiting the black community or early-stage startups with black founders or diverse founding teams are encouraged to apply.
The selected startups will receive between $150,000 and $200,000 equity-free cash awards, as well as per-startup Google Cloud credits, support in the form of training, and access to a network of mentors to assist them in tackling unique challenges.
Startups that are building for Africa and the global market, have growth potential to raise more funding, and create jobs are highly considered.
Aiyegbusi emphasized the critical role startups play in driving innovation, economic growth, and social progress, especially in Africa, and said that the support that the selected startups will receive will go a long way in unlocking potential and promoting growth in the African tech ecosystem and the next generation of African tech entrepreneurs.
The BFF has supported a total of 110 black-owned startups across Africa since its inception, with 60 growth-stage startups selected and supported through the program last year.
Africa has a growing population, with one in three Africans estimated to be under 35 years by 2050. Eligible startups are encouraged to apply for the BFF to benefit from the program’s support.