Global tech giant Google on Tuesday launched a programme that would provide resources and opportunities for women founders in Africa.
The programme is tagged “First Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders in Africa” and will facilitate women’s inclusiveness in the continent’s tech space, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN reports.
The Head of Google Startup Ecosystem, Africa, Folarin Aiyegbusi, said that application for the programme is now open while announcing the launch.
The application ends on February 20.
He said that Google was excited about the open call for applications for its three months accelerator programme, specifically tailored to address the unique challenges faced by women founders in Africa.
According to him, investing in women founders in Africa is critical for economic empowerment that will create jobs for the growing African youth population.
“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 African businesses owned by women.
“Elevating the participation and leadership of women in the entrepreneurship ecosystem is crucial for promoting gender equality and driving economic growth in Africa,” he said.
According to him, the women founders will be mentored by industry experts who will guide and support the selected participants throughout the programme.
The industry experts, he said, would be instrumental in helping the startups achieve their full potential and create a positive impact in their communities.
Aiyegbusi said the programme was an extension of the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Programme, established in 2017 and reflects Google’s dedication to supporting startups and addressing the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Africa.
According to him, the 12-week programme will commence in March 2023 and includes one boot camp per month to be held in a hybrid style of online and in-person sessions.
“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,” he said.
One of the mentors, Akua Nyame-Mensah, expressed his excitement at being selected as a mentor in the inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator Programme for Women Founders.
Kwame-Mensah said that as part of supporting the next generation of African leaders, the programme offered women an opportunity to grow their networks and the accountability to achieve their professional goals.