Nigerian female entrepreneurs among beneficiaries of Google’s $6 million grant
Google says it will support female startups and entrepreneurs in Nigeria and other African nations with $6 million.
Nitin Gajria, managing director of Google Sub-Saharan Africa, said on Monday in a statement that the support was part of the ongoing plans to double down on supporting Black startup founders.
Mr Gajra noted that the programme, in collaboration with the Tony Elumelu Foundation, would provide seed capital to 500 women entrepreneurs in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and selected Francophone countries.
He added that it would prepare them to navigate their businesses through the startup and early growth phase. According to Mr Gajra, as part of Google’s global commitment to support underserved communities, $3 million was earmarked for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa.
‘’This fund, which is part of the company’s radical equity commitments announced in June 2020, will provide cash awards and hands-on support to 50 Black-led startups in Africa.
‘’Unlike most startup investments, it does not require founders to give up any equity in exchange for funding. Google will be working with the Co-Creation Hub, a Google for Startups partner and leading tech community hub with presence in Nigeria, Kenya, and Rwanda, to distribute the funding to the selected companies across Africa,” said Mr Gajra.
He pointed out that data collected by the World Bank in 10 African countries revealed that “male-owned enterprises have six times more capital” than female-owned enterprises.
‘’This huge capital gap is not stopping the rise of female entrepreneurs, but it slows them down and makes their journeys that much more challenging.
‘’We hope that the support to the Tony Elumelu Foundation will help accelerate the growth of women tech makers and entrepreneurs in Africa,” Mr Gajria said.
Bosun Tijani, co-founder and CEO at Co-Creation Hub, said it was encouraging to see Google’s continued dedication to strengthening and elevating the startup ecosystem in Africa.
Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO at Tony Elumelu Foundation, said the grant would provide financial and technical support for additional women-owned businesses and marginalised groups in the informal sector.
According to her, through this support, women will drive growth for local economies and enable better living conditions for their communities.
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