Google announced today that applications for the third cohort of the Black Founders Fund for Startups are now open in Africa and Europe, in keeping with the company’s commitment to digital transformation and support for black-founded startups.
Google has committed $4 million this year to support eligible black-founded startups.
Startups based in Africa with a legal presence on the continent are eligible to apply for the Black Founders Fund. Other eligibility criteria for startups that want to apply include the business benefiting the black community or having black founders or diverse founding teams. The startups should be building for Africa and the global market, have the growth potential to raise more funding, create jobs and generally be making measurable impact.
Following selection, the startups will receive up to $150,000 in equity-free cash awards and up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, as well as training and access to a network of mentors to help them tackle the challenges that are unique to each startup. Applications for the third cohort will be accepted until March 26, 2023.
“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” says Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Google Sub Saharan Africa. 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 provides a tremendous opportunity for startups to provide innovative solutions to a growing market. It is also estimated that by 2025, the African Internet economy will be worth $180 billion to Africa’s GDP.
Google promotes job creation and wealth generation on the continent by funding Black founders. The Black Founders Fund startup program not only provides funding, but also hands-on support, connections, and resources to assist founders in developing solutions relevant to the African economy.