Google for Start-up Black Founders Fund (BFF) is a flagship initiative to support the launch of 200 Black-led tech startups in the next three years by leveraging Google technologies and resources. Funds from this program will cover costs, office space, technology infrastructure, and support services. The organizations and startup teams will work with Google employees, who will be available to assist and consult throughout the process.
The Google for Start-ups Black Founders Fund was a response to the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement and Google’s racial equality commitment. The initiative aims to drive economic opportunities for Black business owners.
Google for Start-up Black Founders Fund (BFF) is a new initiative by Google and the Kapor Center for Social Impact to support the growth of black-led start-ups. The BFF will provide capital, mentorship, and resources to entrepreneurs building products and services that solve problems in their communities.
The program is open to all founders building technology companies with African leadership at the helm who are ready to scale their business over the next 12 months.
Google announced Tuesday that 60 Black-founded start-ups would receive Shs470 million in the second round of its Black Founders Fund. Google will provide cash awards and hands-on support to 60 Black-led start-ups in Africa to help them develop solutions to some of the most pressing problems confronting those at the bottom of Africa’s socio-economic pyramid.
Google hopes that the support provided to Black founders will help them grow their businesses and, in turn, drive economic growth in Africa as they create solutions and give back to their communities.
Head of Start-up Ecosystem, Africa Mr. Folarin Aiyegbusi expressed that start-ups would receive up to Ksh 25,000,000 per start-up in Google Cloud credits and between Shs6,000,000 and Shs10,000,000 in non-dilutive cash awards.
Aiyegbusi said that BFF will provide support in the form of training and a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges unique to each start-up, early-stage. Start-ups founded by black entrepreneurs, or diverse founding teams are eligible for the program.
“Black-led tech start-ups face an unfair funding environment, google is committed to helping them thrive and improve our region,” he said in an interview.
As he explained, eligible start-ups included those benefiting the Black community and those operating and headquartered in Africa as well as those with a diverse founding team, with at least one Black founding member.
He said that everyone on the continent who had a legal presence and was building technology solutions for Africa or the global market and anyone with the potential to raise more funding or create jobs was eligible.