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Google launches programmes for African women and startups

Google startups programme entrepreneurship Africa investment training

Google has announced it is launching multi-million Dollar grant programmes to support women and black-owned startups on the African continent.

The programmes include the annual Google for Startups Accelerator (GFSA) class and the $3 million Black Founders Fund (BFF).

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In addition, the tech giant has contributed a $3 million grant to the Tony Elumelu Foundation to support female entrepreneurs.

“Google understands that the growth and success of one player in the startup space lays the path for others,” Managing Director of Google Sub-Saharan Africa, Nitin Gajria, said in a statement.

“This is what drives the commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and startups, and effectively driving employment and enabling both economic and social development on the continent.”

Google aims to support African entrepreneurship

GFSA Africa is a three-month programme that features virtual boot camps and mentorship training. It aims to support businesses through their early growth periods.

Applications for the class opened earlier this year. The class started on 21 June and 15 startups from across Africa are participating.

Meanwhile, applications for grants from the BFF are open until 7 July.

The fund is open to black-owned startups in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Botswana, Senegal, Rwanda, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Côte d’Ivoire.

It will offer cash rewards and hands-on support to startups while not needing them to give up equity in exchange.

Google will work with the Co-Creation Hub to distribute the funding to the chosen startups.

At the same time, the $3 million grant to the Tony Emlumelu Foundation will go towards entrepreneurship training. The recipients will include 5 000 women from rural areas and who operate in the informal sector.

“We are dedicated to building a world where all women can thrive,” Gajria added.

“We hope that the grant to The Elumelu Foundation will help accelerate the growth of women tech makers and entrepreneurs in Africa.”

Featured image: Unsplash/Benjamin Dada

Read more: Netflix announces training programme candidates – and six are from South Africa

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