African startups on a growth trajectory
As startups across Africa continue their outstanding performance, it is beautiful to see how not just founders, but communities and organizations are rising up to lend support to ventures and startups on the continent. Without a doubt, startups are the engine room for growth on the continent and offer vast opportunities and possibilities for Africa’s economic transformation. Through tech-driven initiatives, many startups on the continent are impacting their communities with proven, reliable, and revolutionary solutions to social problems.
However, while startups are pushing this needed transformation through their innovations, they are facing significant difficulties in achieving and maintaining scale and growth across their sectors. A good deal of startups especially at the early stages of growth are somewhat unable to access funding due to poor visibility as well as the limitations that they face with regards to access to resources. Also, many startups, unfortunately, fail because of these ubiquitous challenges. However, this trajectory is changing course, as founders, organizations, and communities are pooling resources together to support these startups. Last year, Google had apparently led the charge with its announcement of over $1 billion to be invested in Africa, through a five-year period, to focus on technology transformation. This crystallized into the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund that invested a non-dilutive $3 million fund in over 50 investable African startups.
More recently, Oracle is furthering this objective of democratizing access to resources and support, through an initiative that helps African startups, especially at the grassroots to have access to the resources and tools for digitization that would enable them to achieve scale faster and better.
Oracle announces $1 million in cloud credits for African startups
As such, Oracle announced today its support of $1 million for tech startups in Africa, to help them to accelerate their digital initiatives with the latest cloud technologies and business resources. This mandate will be led by Oracle for Startups which is looking at providing $10,000 in cloud credits to over 100 African tech startups. These resources will be made available as part of a comprehensive development program, that would entail hands-on technical support, executive mentoring, go-to-market resources, and customer engagements.
Startups are encouraged to apply for the program HERE.
To be eligible for the offer, startups are required to have been founded within the last 10 years, with a functional website and social media presence, registered as a startup business in Africa, be associated with an accelerator, seed/venture capital firm, or startup enabling initiatives and could be graduating cohorts of the Oracle for Startups program. The program is open for applications as of 1st of February, 2022, and would be valid for two years from the date of enrollment.
As Jason Williamson, Vice-President of Oracle for Startups emphasizes,
At Oracle for Startups, we help startups grow from grassroots through scaling. Africa is a hotbed for tech entrepreneurs, and we have witnessed a 91 percent growth in enrolments from South African startups, and a 39 percent growth from over 13 other African countries within the last year. The $1 million investment will further boost the efforts of tech entrepreneurs in Africa to utilize the latest digital technologies for the success of their startups.
Oracle had recently announced the opening of its first cloud region in Africa, in its bid to meet the growing demand for enterprise cloud services on the continent. This makes the 37th cloud region globally that the tech giant has, with its plans to ramp up this number to at least 44 cloud regions by the end of 2022.
These significant steps by organizations and communities across Africa are testaments to the growing confidence and trust in the economic and transformational power of startups on the continent. As trust currency, African startups have what it takes to keep on the upward drive towards success. It, truly, is a Cambrian moment!