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Google Announces a Ksh 480 Million Fund to Help African Entrepreneurs Grow

Kenyan companies often face challenges when it comes to providing international solutions that will be appealing to investors.

According to Charles Murito, the head of government affairs and public policy at Google, governments in Africa must provide the infrastructure and laws necessary to encourage the adoption of the pan-African digital solutions that are being created in a variety of industries.

Murito said:

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“You do have the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which allows for data to flow from one country to the other. When you have data localization bills passing in different countries then companies such as BuuPass cannot be able to build their business beyond their borders,”

Twelve Kenyan firms have been selected for the second series of the Ksh 480 million ($4 million) Google for Startups Black Founders Fund (BFF) for Africa. In order to scale their solutions and increase their footprint in the continent, the 60 firms that have been chosen for the six-month programme will each receive between Ksh 6 million ($50,000) and Ksh 12 million ($100,000) and up to Ksh 24 million ($200,000) in Google Cloud credit.

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The inaugural BFF, which was introduced last year, netted the first batch Ksh 360 million ($3 million).

The startups will also have access to a network of mentors to help them overcome problems that are particular to them, according to Google Head of Startup Ecosystem in Sub-Saharan Africa Folarin Aiyegbusi.

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“Africa is a diverse continent with massive opportunity but the continent is faced with the challenge of limited diversity in venture capital funding flow. We hope that the Black Founders Fund program will be able to bridge the gap of disproportionate funding between expat startups over local and black-led companies,” said Aiyegbusi.

Solutech, one of the businesses selected for BFF, offers Fast-Moving Goods companies real-time data from the field sales teams that are capitalising on strong insights to support organisations in their day-to-day and strategic decision-making.

“BFF will help us in scaling and improving the technology to drive more into other markets. It will also help us leverage Google Talent pool to grow the venture,” said Odhiambo.

According to Odhiambo, the company has assisted businesses in achieving a 99 percent efficiency rate, and it is currently focusing on developing Customer Relations Management (CRM) solutions for the service sector and a business-to-business marketplace.

Vanessa Waithera
Vanessa Waithera
Vanessa Waithera is a young writer from Daystar University. She has been a writer for 7 years and enjoys it as a hobby and passion. During her free time she enjoys nature walks, discoveries ,reading and takes pleasure in new challenges and experiences. Contact: [email protected]

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