The Internet is playing a key role in Africa's economic transition, generating new possibilities and paving the path for economic and social growth. According to a
, Africa’s Internet economy is expected to contribute nearly $189 billion to the continent’s overall GDP by 2025, rising to $712 billion by 2050. At Google, we recognize the immense potential of the ecosystem's key players, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to developing targeted programs that assist them in accessing technical and financial assistance to support them in developing technologies that will benefit everyone.
Today we're excited to announce new initiatives that reaffirm our commitment to African startups, and extend our support for underserved communities. The programs, which include a $3 million USD Black Founders Fund for African startups
and a $3 million USD Google.org grant to help low-income communities develop entrepreneurial skills and funding
, will help Black founders grow their businesses not only by providing capital but also by providing access to the best of Google resources. We're also welcoming 15 companies from across the continent to the sixth class of our Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa program.
Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa
Between 2020 and 2021, more African companies completed more funding rounds than in any prior year, with transactions rising by almost 50%. While remarkable, this achievement is not translating to the same level of success for Black founders on the continent. Research
shows that African founded startups find it difficult to secure financial support, and are faced with insufficient starting capital, a lack of angel investors and more.
Last year we announced
the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund as part of a series of racial equity commitments to close the funding gap and empower Black entrepreneurs in the US, Brazil
. Given the proven success
of the Black Founders Fund around the world, we are expanding the program with the first $3M Black Founders Fund in Africa.
The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa
provides grants and technical assistance to early-stage startups led by black and diverse teams, or with a goal of advancing the Black community. This $3M non-dilutive fund
will be allocated across a pipeline of 50 investable startups in Africa, with each firm receiving up to $100,000 in cash awards. Each selected company will also receive $220,000 in Google Cloud Credits and Ad Grants, as well as mentoring, technical and scaling assistance from the best of Google. The equity-free fund is available to entrepreneurs developing for Africa, on the continent.
We have partnered with the Co-Creation Hub
, a Google for Startups partner and leading tech community hub with presence in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda, to distribute the funding to the 50 selected companies across Africa.
Applications are open from today until July 7th and eligible startups can visit goo.gle/BFFAfrica
now to apply.
$3 million USD Google.org grant
Beyond the tech startup scene, there are entrepreneurs tackling day-to-day problems on a smaller, but equally significant scale. Our commitment in the region extends to these groups too. Studies
indicate that entrepreneurship is essential for unlocking the essential economic benefits that Africa needs to prosper in a post-pandemic environment via employment and wealth development. However, not all entrepreneurs have the resources or know-how to run successful businesses, with women entrepreneurs being at a greater risk of having companies that are the most impacted by the epidemic
Women entrepreneurs must have access to knowledge, skills, tools, and funding in order to reach their full potential.
Since 2017, Google.org through a $20M commitment
has prioritized funding to nonprofit organizations that support access to economic opportunity for women in Sub-Saharan Africa. We recognize that, alongside financing, bespoke learning solutions and mentoring programs are required for accelerating women-led companies.
This is why Google.org is giving $3M to the Tony Elumelu Foundation
, who through their annual entrepreneurship program will provide entrepreneurship training, mentorship, coaching and access to networks and key markets for at least 5000 women, as well as seed capital in the form of one-time cash grants to 500 African female informal business-owners in rural and low-income communities across Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and select Francophone countries. We believe this will enable and prepare these women who otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to navigate their independent businesses journey through the critical start-up and early growth phase.
Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa
the Google for Startups Accelerator: Africa program in 2018 to support the startup ecosystem, and have so far supported 67 startups from 17 African countries who have collectively raised $72M and created 2800 direct jobs.
The programs we're launching today are essential to our efforts to create platforms and initiatives that will aid in the development of Africa's digital economy. We are thrilled to be a part of this story.
Posted by Nitin Gajria, Managing Director, Google Africa & Rowan Barnett, Head of Google.org EMEA