Google to Support African Startups and SMEs

Google on June 21, 2021, announced the launch of two new initiatives as part of its commitment to African startups and support for underserved communities.

These initiatives aimed at supporting African startup founders and low income communities by providing them technical and financial assistance to build entrepreneurial skills and grow their businesses include a $3 million USD Black Founders Fund for African startups and a $3 million USD Google.org grant.

Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa.

Launched last year, the Google for Startups Black Founders is part of a series of racial equity commitments to close the funding gap and empower Black entrepreneurs in the US, Brazil and Europe.
This program provides grants and technical assistance to new startups led by black and diverse teams with the goal of advancing the Black community.

As a proof of the success of Black Founders Fund around the world, the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is expanding this initiative to Africa with $3M to assist the many startups that are faced with the problems of funding and lack of technical resources, according to research.

In partnership with Co-Creation Hub, a Google for Startups partner and leading tech community hub with presence in Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda, Google will distribute the fund across the 50 selected investable startups in Africa, with each firm receiving up to $100,000 in cash awards. In addition, each selected company will 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.

Black Founders with established startups based in Africa who are seeking seed-stage funding are encouraged to apply here. Applications are open until July 7th, 2021.

$3 million USD Google.org Grant for SMEs and Women Entrepreneurs.

According to Google, “We recognize that alongside financing, bespoke learning solutions and mentoring programs are required for accelerating women-led companies”

Owing to this, Google.org is also giving out $3M to the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) who will provide at least, 5,000 women with entrepreneurship training, mentorship, coaching and access to networks and key markets
Furthermore, seed capital in the form of one-time cash grants will be distributed to 500 African female business-owners in rural and low-income communities across Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and select Francophone countries through its annual TEF entrepreneurship program.

“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”, says Google in a statement on its website.