Google has selected 30 startups from Europe which are led by people of colour who will receive a share of $2 million Black Founders Fund.

The 30 startups from the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands have been selected to receive awards from the Black Founders Fund, a $2 million initiative to provide cash awards up to $100,000 to Black-led startups in Europe that were announced in October last year.

“Their inspiring, fast-growing startups address global challenges like access to healthcare, financial inclusion, energy, and education, in the most competitive industries, from hardware design and advertising to data and risk management,” Google said in a blog post on Thursday.

It is not only racial diversity that they represent as 40 per cent of startups selected are led by women.

Google interviewed almost 100 founders for the fund to understand their businesses, their ambitions and their lived experience as leaders, whether they are serial or first time founders.

The Black Founders Fund in Europe is the third region, after the US and Brazil, where Google for Startups is helping to level the playing field by backing Black founders who are disproportionately locked out of access to capital.

Currently, less than 0.5 percent of venture capital (VC) funding goes to Black-led startups, and only 38 Black founders have received venture capital funding in the last 10 years.

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