Google sets up $4m fund to back Black entrepreneurs in Africa.

29 May 2023

The third round of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund (BFF) for Africa is now open, giving eligible black-founded startups a chance to receive a share of the $4 million funding commitment by Google. This initiative follows the success of the second cohort, which provided $4 million to 60 early-stage African founders, and the distribution of $3 million in non-dilutive funding to 50 investable startups in Africa in 2021. The BFF aligns with Google's commitment to digital transformation and support for black-founded startups as part of its racial equity program.

Folarin Aiyegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Google Sub-Saharan Africa, emphasized the critical role that startups play in driving innovation, economic growth, and social progress in Africa. The BFF aims to bridge the existing fundraising gap for black startup founders in Africa's fast-growing technology landscape and provides funding, hands-on support, connections, and resources to help founders develop solutions relevant to the African economy.

To be eligible for the program, startups must be headquartered in Africa or have a legal presence there, have a black founder or a diverse starting team with at least one black founding member, directly support their domestic market to expand globally and raise more funding and be a technology startup with an MVP or live product in a market or business where technology is core to their ability to scale.
Selected businesses will receive a non-dilutive cash award of up to $150,000 per startup, $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, access to Google products, a network of mentors, marketing and legal office hours and workshop sessions, and roundtables with leading VCs and industry experts. Startups will select three goals or OKRs to work on for the duration of the program and be assigned a dedicated Google advisor, connected to meet mentors monthly via Google Meet, and build community with other program participants through workshops and skill-building online sessions.

The application process is open to entrepreneurs in selected African countries and will be evaluated by startup-experienced internal Google teams and investors. The program starts on February 28th and closes on March 26th, with shortlisted applicants notified and invited to interview in May. The program starts in June and ends in November 2023, with an in-person kick-off in London and Paris in June.


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