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Contxto – The Black Lives Matter movement can be felt throughout Latin America but nowhere more so in Brazil. In a country where nearly 57 percent of the population (~119 million people) consider themselves “black” or “dark-skinned”, it’s easy to understand why.
And even the entrepreneurial sphere isn’t exempt from discrimination. Correspondingly, it’s an issue tech titan Google wants to address through its newly-launched Black Founders Fund in Brazil.
This fund has R$5 million (~US$945,000) to disperse among early-stage tech startups operating in Brazil and with black founders at their helm. The program wants to finance around 30 companies looking for seed investments.
Evidently the overlying goal is to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and build a more diverse and robust ecosystem.
Black Founder matters in Brazil
As protests and awareness campaigns across Brazil unfold, the entrepreneurial community is also coming to terms with racial biases and the importance of promoting black founders.
Research by the Locomotiva Institute shows that 57 percent of Brazil’s black population believe black people suffer prejudice when trying to open their own business.
Many barriers can inhibit the possibility of doing so, including limited access to credit or funding opportunities.
Ergo Google’s initiative.
Google and the Black Founders Fund
Interestingly, Google shan’t become an equity shareholder of the companies in which it invests.
“Google will be an ally in the business’s progress, but it will not be a formal partner nor will it earn a financial return by investing in them,” says the company.
The program is open for submissions as of September 2020 and it shall choose companies within the next 18 months.
If you want to learn more (or sign up), check out the official page here.
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