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Nigeria leads in Google’s funding for African startups

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NIGERIA is topping the list of beneficiaries of 60 startups being floated by Google across Africa under its startups for Black Founders Fund (BFF) in Africa.

  Also in the list are Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, among others.

  Speaking during the unveiling of the beneficiaries in Abuja, yesterday, Google’s head of Startups Ecosystem Africa, Folarin Aiyegbusi said brands joining the programme would receive a total of $4 million in funding and technical support to enable them scale up their ongoing work.

  According to Aiyegbusi, the grantees are made up of 50 per cent of women driven businesses in fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agro tech, education, hospitality and smart cities.

  Explaining the scheme as part of Google’s efforts to bridge unemployment gap in Africa, Aiyegbusi also said each of the selected startups would receive support in the form of a six-month training programme that includes access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges unique to them.

  “They will also be part of tailored workshops, support networks and community building sessions. The 60 grantees will also get non-dilutive awards of between $50,000 and $100,000 and up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credit.

The grantees, made up of 50% women-led businesses, hail from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. They specialise in sectors such as fintech, healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, agtech, education, hospitality and smart cities.

The top five countries with the most startups selected for the program are Nigeria, with 23 grantees; Kenya, with 12 grantees; Rwanda, with six grantees; South Africa, with five grantees and Uganda, with four grantees. Botswana and Senegal have one selected startup each; Cameroon and Ghana both have three grantees each, while Ethiopia has two selected grantees,” he said.

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It will be recalled that the programme was launched in April 2012 and has created over 4,600 jobs while raising over $290 million in funding.

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