Google Launches Startup Accelerator for Women Founders in Africa

Mary Izuaka

GOOGLE on Tuesday announced applications for the inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders Africa Program.

The initiative, according to the global tech company, aims to empower and support women founders on the continent by providing resources and opportunities for them to scale their startups and address African problems.

The Google for Startups Accelerator Women Founders Africa Program is an extension of the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Program established in 2017, reflecting Google’s dedication to supporting startups and addressing the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Africa.

The 12-week programme will commence in March 2023 and include one boot camp per month, held in a hybrid style of online and in-person sessions, Google said in a statement.

The programme offers a wide range of advantages as selected participants will receive access to Google’s products, mentoring from industry experts, resources, tools, and technology, as well as networking opportunities and connections with investors to support the growth of their startups.

The women founders, according to the company, will be mentored by industry experts who will provide guidance and support to the selected participants throughout the programme.

The company noted that it will be instrumental in helping startups achieve their full potential and create a positive impact on their communities.

Speaking in a statement recently, the head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa at Google, Folarin Aiyegbusi, said: “We are excited about the open call for applications for our 3-month accelerator program, specifically tailored to address the unique challenges faced by women founders in Africa.

“We believe that investing in women founders in Africa is critical for economic empowerment that will enable the creation of jobs for the growing African youth population.

“Elevating the participation and leadership of women in the entrepreneurship ecosystem is crucial for promoting gender equality and driving economic growth in Africa.

“Investing in women-led startups is a key step towards achieving this goal, and Google’s commitment to these goals is reflected in the launch of the Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders Africa Program.”

Akua Nyame-Mensah, a mentor for the programme, said, “It’s an honour to be a mentor in the inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator Program for Women Founders.

“As part of supporting the next generation of leaders in Africa, this program offers women an opportunity to grow their networks and the accountability to achieve their professional goals. The focus on mentorship will be invaluable. Participants will benefit and grow from the exchange of ideas and experiences.”

According to the statement, African female founders face challenges in their entrepreneurial pursuits, including limited access to funding. Despite these challenges, women make up a significant portion of African entrepreneurs, with 58 per cent of businesses in Africa being owned by women.

Women founders who are building tech startups in Africa or for Africa can apply through the program website via g.co/acceleratorafrica before the 20 February 2023 deadline. Eligible applicants must have a working product or service, a viable business model, and a working team. The application process includes a written application and an interview with the programme team, the statement added.

Source: AllAfrica

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