In March 2023, Google announced three initiatives to empower women: the Hustle Academy for Women-Led SMEs, the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa: Women Founders Cohort, and a social media series celebrating inspiring women in Africa’s technology sector.
The Black Founders Fund is aimed at addressing the systemic racial inequality in venture capital (VC) funding by providing equity-free grants and mentorship to early-stage, high-growth Black-led businesses in Europe and Africa.
These 25 African startups, representing the diverse entrepreneurial spirit found throughout the continent, are among the 40 startups selected for the cohort from Europe and Africa.
Among the selected startups are Akoma Health, Chargel, Jumba, Susu, EzyAgric, Excel At Uni, Herconomy, Zinacare, and Tushop.
These startups will receive a total of $4 million in funding and support to expand their operations.
Each of the chosen startups will receive up to $150,000 in non-dilutive cash awards, up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credits, advertising assistance, personalized mentoring from industry experts, and valuable connections within Google’s network.
The funding will provide these companies with the necessary capital to enter new markets and propel their businesses to the next level, thus generating increased business opportunities and job creation.
These startups are leveraging technology to address some of Africa’s most pressing challenges, such as delivering affordable healthcare, efficient logistics, and cutting-edge fintech solutions.
For instance, Tushop is transforming retail in Kenya by offering a platform for group purchases that promote cost-saving and community engagement.
Similarly, Herconomy is making history in the fintech sector by striving to become Africa’s first bank with a women-focused strategy.
Among the grantees, Nigeria has the highest number of selected startups (10), followed by Kenya (5) and South Africa (3), completing the top three. The remaining spots are filled by Ghana (2), Uganda (2), Côte d’Ivoire (1), Rwanda (1), and Senegal (1).
By Elijah Christopher