Google today celebrated International Women’s Day by announcing three new initiatives aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs in Africa and providing them with the resources they need to succeed. The initiatives include the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa: Women Founders Cohort, the Hustle Academy for Women-Led SMEs, and a social media series celebrating inspiring women in Africa’s technology sector.
Folarin Aiayegbusi, Head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa, said, “We are thrilled to announce the selected startups for the inaugural class of our Google for Startups Accelerator Africa: Women Founders Cohort. These women are tackling some of Africa’s most pressing challenges, and we’re excited to support them as they build the future.” The 15 startups selected for the program are from eight African countries and are creating innovative solutions that improve livelihoods in their communities.
Google’s Hustle Academy is a bootcamp-style training program designed to help entrepreneurs increase revenue, position themselves for investment, and build sustainable businesses for the future. As part of its International Women’s Day celebrations, Google plans to host six women-focused cohorts of the Hustle Academy program in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa throughout the month of March. Women entrepreneurs in these countries are invited to apply to join these cohorts at g.co/hustleacademy.
Finally, Google is celebrating inspiring women in Africa’s technology sector through its #WomeninIT social media series. The series features the stories of six inspiring women who are breaking barriers and making an impact in the fields of technology, business, entrepreneurship, innovation, and startups on the continent.
According to Dorothy Ooko, Head of Communications, Google Africa, “At Google, we are committed to providing women entrepreneurs in Africa with access to funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Through our programs, we aim to bridge the gap and empower women to succeed in their respective fields.”
The Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Women Founders Cohort (in alphabetical order)
- Afriwell Health (Congo) : Connects patients in Congo with healthcare professionals globally in a quick and efficient way.
- Alajo App (Nigeria) : A digital piggy bank for the underbanked and non-smartphone users in Africa; building an escrowed banking system between Agents and Users using USSD and SMS, helping people save money every day.
- eWaka (Kenya): A ridesharing platform offering on-demand electric micro-mobility for personal use and sustainable logistics for delivery businesses.
- Farmer Lifeline (Kenya): A technological solution that places smallholder farmers ahead of crop pests and crop diseases to increase crop yield.
- Gobeba (Kenya): A digital retail platform for distributing bulky household essentials to urban households in growing African cities.
- Hepta Pay (Rwanda): A product that interfaces card payments with mobile money accounts, easing diaspora inflows.
- Jem HR (South Africa): A software that plugs into any HR and payroll system, making it easy for employers to send payslips, manage leave requests, process salary advances and communicate with thousands of frontline employees using WhatsApp.
- Kola Market (Ghana): A full-stack B2B e-Commerce platform providing Guaranteed Sales, Smart Inventory Recommendations, and Product Financing to SMEs in Africa.
- Maxibuy (Nigeria): A cooperative inventory procurement and financial services platform for bulk buying merchants of consumer goods in Nigeria, enabling them to scale their businesses and gain the benefits of economies of scale.
- MosMos (Kenya): A save-to-buy platform for Africa.
- Mipango (Tanzania): A personal finance and robo advisory app for women and the mass market.
- Smart Ikigega (Rwanda): Eliminating post-harvest loss for farmers and providing access to financial services digitally.
- Suitch (Cameroon): Provides digital financial services to underbanked and non-banked populations to foster their growth.
- Tyms Africa (Nigeria): Offers instant microcredit for microenterprises in Africa, powered by ROSCA.
- Zydii (Kenya): A premier localised digital training solution engaging and accessible for the African workforce, leading to transformative growth for businesses.