The application process for the second round of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund (BFF) for Africa has begun. Following a successful disbursement of a $3 million fund to 50 early-stage African founders in 2021, Google has decided to increase the fund size by an extra $1 million to make it a total of $4 million for more than 60 qualified black founders from Africa in 2022.
The Google for Startups Black Founders fund is a part of the Google racial equity program. After the Black Lives Matter campaign was created in 2020. The initiative’s main goal is to “bridge the existing fundraising gap for Black startup founders in Africa’s fast-growing technology landscape”.
Last year, Google distributed $3 million in non-dilutive funding to 50 investable startups in Africa. These include 26 Nigerian companies. They are Babymigo, Bumpa, Chekkit, Credpal, Crop2Cash, Curacel, Emergency Response Africa, Formplus, Gerocare, Gradely, Gricd, Hitch, Lifestores Healthcare, mDoc Healthcare, Medsaf, My-Medicine, Pick Me Up, Reach, Send, Scheduled, Shopa, Tix Africa, Touch and Pay, TradeBuza, Treepz and Whispa Health
The BFF is Google’s startup funding initiative designed to offer financial support that would help early-stage black-founded startups accelerate growth. According to the company, the fund was created in response to the financial and cultural challenges that black founders regularly face.
These problems have always existed but have been amplified by the pandemic realities of 2020. The covid-19 hit from last year saw a lot of tech founders affected in more ways than one. Founders can use this funding to keep their doors open, pay their employees, and focus on how to build their businesses.
So, BFF provides financial support to startups with a vision that will help them to expand their businesses and generate economic growth in Africa, a means for them to contribute to their communities.
The 2022 Startups Black Founders fund program is available for all aspiring entrepreneurs. However, eligibility procedures have been established to aid in the selection of the best businesses.
According to the statement by Google, the application is open to entrepreneurs with existing businesses in selected African countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe Ethiopia, and Senegal.
This is because these African countries have developed a thriving tech ecosystem with a good number of startups. Nevertheless, participants with excellent businesses from other African countries are welcomed for evaluation.
Here are the criteria:
- Startups must be based in Africa or have a significant presence there.
- A black founder or a diverse starting team with at least one black founding member is required for startups.
- Startups must have a high likelihood of raising additional investment.
- Startups must have the goal of bringing technology solutions to Africa and the rest of the world.
- Google goods should be compatible with startups.
The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund offers a variety of other benefits. For one, selected businesses will receive equity-free capital in the range of $50,000 to $100,000. In addition, selected founders will receive $200,000 in Google Cloud credits as well as access to a network of mentors and a community of entrepreneurs.
The sum to be distributed differs depending on the stage of product development, present demands, and the amount of money generated so far. Also, businesses that have been funded by other organisations can still apply for the BFF programs.
Application and deadline
Application for the BFF program is currently ongoing. It will run till May 31st, 2022.
Click here to apply
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