Black Representation in Tech: Africa and Europe

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Written in partnership with Notion Capital, this report provides insights into African and European tech investment and diversity, assessing the performance of the recipients of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund as compared to peers not backed by Google.

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Foreword

Foreword

Established in 2020, the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund has awarded more than $30M to help Black-led startups in Africa, Brazil, Europe, and the United States secure funding, strengthen communities, and create generational change. In addition to equity-free cash awards, Black Founders Fund recipients receive ongoing Google mentorship, Google Cloud credits, and product support to help them navigate every stage of their startup journey.
To date, the program has provided 220 startups throughout Africa and Europe with non-dilutive cash awards and mentorship.

The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund provides wraparound support for Black founders. This report seeks to assess the impact of this kind of non-dilutive financial support on the success of Black-led companies with quantitative and qualitative data, and build on strategic partnerships with investors, like Notion Capital, in order to create positive long-term impact.

Fund objectives

  • Strategic partnerships

    Connects Black founders to the people and resources they need to grow and scale their businesses, such as venture capital funds, ecosystem players, and Google mentors.

  • Community building

    The global Google for Startups community provides recipients with a vibrant and supportive network of mentors, advisors, and fellow entrepreneurs, fostering an environment of collaboration and learning.

  • Long-term impact

    The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund empowers recipients to build successful startups and become leaders in the tech and business world, ultimately influencing and shaping the industry.

The  tech  landscape

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Chart 1

The global tech landscape has witnessed unprecedented growth, with the African tech ecosystem soaring to $482.7B and European tech reaching $20.7T. Despite this, the report reveals significant disparities in investment allocation, with only 0.51% of total investment going to Black-led tech businesses in Europe and Africa since 2000.

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Chart 2

The global tech landscape has witnessed unprecedented growth, with the African tech ecosystem soaring to $482.7B and European tech reaching $20.7T. Despite this, the report reveals significant disparities in investment allocation, with only 0.51% of total investment going to Black-led tech businesses in Europe and Africa since 2000.

Find out more

Chart 3

The global tech landscape has witnessed unprecedented growth, with the African tech ecosystem soaring to $482.7B and European tech reaching $20.7T. Despite this, the report reveals significant disparities in investment allocation, with only 0.51% of total investment going to Black-led tech businesses in Europe and Africa since 2000.

Find out more

Recommendations

We propose the following four recommendations for the ecosystem to address the challenges uncovered by this report, and to continue building on the success of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund.
  • Policy advocacy

    VCs, founders, and tech companies should collaborate with policymakers to advocate for policies that incentivise diversity in tech and address systemic barriers faced by Black founders in accessing capital.

  • Investor education

    Startup ecosystem leaders should help implement educational programs for investors to raise awareness about biases and challenges faced by underrepresented founders, fostering a more inclusive investment landscape.

  • Community building

    Policymakers, tech companies, ecosystem leaders and VCs should assist inĀ community-building efforts such as mentorship programs to create a supportive ecosystem where Black founders can connect, collaborate, and share experiences.

  • Data collection and transparency

    Tech companies, VCs and policymakers should spearhead enhanced data collection on diversity metrics in the tech industry, promoting transparency and informed decision-making.

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Read the full report

The last decade of global tech has been significant, with startups fueling unprecedented economic growth. The African tech ecosystem is valued at over $480B, and the European tech ecosystem at $20T - a 32x increase in value of African tech over the last decade, and a 17x increase in Europe.

However, over the past 18 months there has been a reversal of VC investment on a global scale, as investors continue to pull back post-pandemic. This slowdown is both reflective of broader economic trends, and in part contributing to them.

This report provides insights into the current landscape of African and European tech investment and diversity, and asseses the impact of initiatives such as the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund in relation to various facets of the ecosystem. It also outlines pain points and recommendations to ensure the continued progress and development of the African and European tech sector, and the outlook for Black founders within it.

Read the report