Google announced the selection of 60 eligible startups across Africa for the $4 million dollars grant on Tuesday. The funding is to enable them to scale up their ongoing work and Nigeria.
Nigerians dominated the selection list with 23 slots. Other countries benefitting from this funding programme include Kenya with 12 grantees, Rwanda with six grantees, South Africa with five grantees, and Uganda with four grantees, among others.
The programme, which is called Google Black Founders Fund (BFF) for startups in Africa, is the second phase of the global tech giant’s funding for African startups.
It was disclosed that each of the selected startups would get support in the form of a six-month training programme that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling unique challenges.
The 60 grantees will also get non-dilutive awards of $50,000 and $100,000 and up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit in addition to being a part of tailored workshops support networks and community-building sessions.
Folarin Aiyegbusi, Google’s Head of Startup Ecosystem, Sub Sahara Africa, said in a statement that the programme reinforced Google’s commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and startups in the region as a vital prerequisite to driving employment and growth on the continent.
“Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunities, but the continent is faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow.
“We hope that the Black Founders Fund programme will be able to bridge the gap of disproportionate funding between expat startups over local and black-led companies.
“Each of the selected startups would receive support in the form of a six-month training programme that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges,’’ Aiyegbusi said.
He said that grantees, made up of 50 per cent women-led businesses, hailed from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.
According to Aiyegbusi, the startups specialised in sectors such as fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agtech, education, hospitality and smart cities.