The third cohort of the Black Founders Fund for Startups has opened applications in Africa and Europe, according to tech giant Google, in keeping with its commitment to supporting black-founded firms and the digital transformation.
Google has pledged $4 million this year to promote qualifying firms with black founders.
Companies with their corporate headquarters or a physical presence in Africa are eligible to apply for the Black Founders Fund. The startup must also benefit the black community in order to be eligible, and it must have black founders or a diverse founding team if it is in its early stages. The startups must be developing for both the African and the worldwide markets, have the potential for expansion to raise additional money, generate employment, and generally be having an impact that can be measured.
Following selection, the entrepreneurs will receive support in the form of training and access to a network of mentors to help with overcoming the problems particular to each startup, as well as up to $150,000 equity-free cash rewards and up to $200,000 per startup in Google Cloud credits. The third cohort’s application period will end on March 26, 2023.
Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Google Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “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. We encourage all eligible startups to apply.
“Following the successful completion of two cohorts of the Black Founders Fund, the program has supported a total of 110 black-owned startups across Africa. 60 growth-stage startups were selected and supported through the program last year in Africa.
“Africa has a growing population with 1 in 3 Africans estimated to be under 35 by 2050. The continent presents a huge opportunity for startups to provide innovative solutions for the growing market. It is also estimated that by 2025, the African Internet economy will have the potential to add up to $180 billion to Africa’s GDP.
“By funding Black founders, Google is promoting job creation and wealth generation in the continent. The Black Founders Fund program for startups not only provides funding, but also hands-on support, connections and resources to help founders build solutions that are relevant for the African economy.”