This was said in a statement made on Tuesday in Lagos by Head of Startup Ecosystem, Google, sub-Saharan Africa Mr. Folarin Aiyegbusi.
According to Aiyegbusi, Google will set aside $4 million this year to promote deserving firms started by people of color.
He pointed out that the program was consistent with its dedication to digital transformation and assistance for firms with black founders.
“Startups with operations and headquarters in Africa or with a recognized presence there are eligible to apply for the BFF,” he said.
According to him, startups that want to apply must be early-stage businesses with black founders or diverse founding teams, or they must benefit the black community.
Aiyegbusi noted that entrepreneurs should be building for Africa and the global market, have the growth potential to raise more money and create jobs.
He claims that chosen startups will receive between $150,000 and $200,000 in equity-free cash awards, as well as credits for Google Cloud for each startup.
“They will also receive support in the form of training and access to a network of mentors to help them overcome the particular challenges that each startup faces.
“The support that the chosen startups will receive will go a long way to unlock the potential and promote growth in the African tech ecosystem and the next generation of African tech entrepreneurs.
“Startups are critical drivers of innovation, economic growth, and social progress especially in Africa.
He noted that with the successful completion of two cohorts of the BFF, the program has assisted a total of 110 black-owned companies across Africa.
According to him, 60 growth-stage firms were chosen and supported across Africa last year under the initiative.
Aiyegbusi added that the population of Africa is increasing, and by 2050, it’s predicted that one in three Africans would be under the age of 35.
He said that the BFF programme for startups not only provides funding, but also hands-on support, connections and resources to help founders build solutions that were relevant for the African economy.
He claimed that the possibility for startups to offer cutting-edge solutions for the expanding market is enormous across the continent.
He further stated that it is predicted that by 2025, the African internet economy will have the ability to boost the continent’s GDP by up to $180 billion.
According to Aiyegbusi, Google is fostering economic growth and employment creation across the continent by supporting the BFF.
“The BFF programme for startups not only provides funding, but also hands-on support, connections and resources to help founders build solutions that are relevant for the African economy.”
Aiyegbusi added that the applications for the third cohort of the BFF for startups will close on March 26, 2023, and can be accessed at https://goo.gle/ApplyforBFFAfrica.