Amid the global health crisis, several initiatives have been unveiled to support Black-owned businesses that have been significantly impacted. Among the efforts is one being led by Google. The technology company announced it will donate $2.35 million to Black-owned, Atlanta-based tech companies, BET reported.
The donation is a part of a larger initiative launched by Google called the Black Founders Fund. Through the $5 million fund, the Google for Startups Program will provide grants between $50,000 and $100,000 to businesses launched by Black founders. According to the Harvard Business Review, Black founders only receive less than 1 percent of venture capital. The fund was created in an effort to address the lack of access to VC funding. “We are committed to helping Black founders who have been deeply impacted by COVID-19 and who are disproportionately locked out of access to the funding they need to succeed,” said Jewel Burks Solomon, who serves as Head of Google for Startups in the US. “By combining cash awards with Google for Startups mentorship and programming, we hope to help create a more level playing field for these founders, who are building amazing companies and making an impact on their communities.”
Nearly half of the Black Founders Fund recipients are from Atlanta. Amongst the businesses that received investments include Pharaoh’s Conclave, a company that empowers youth to step into the eSports industry, a debt reduction platform dubbed Qoins, and a company called Brown Toy Box which creates educational products where Black children can see themselves reflected.
There have been many efforts led to spread awareness about small Black-owned businesses and provide them with the financial support needed to survive the pandemic. In July, songstress Beyoncé teamed up with the NAACP for the creation of a grant campaign dubbed the Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund. Through the campaign, $10,000 grants were awarded to Black-owned businesses in Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and New York that were on the verge of shuttering.