24 May 2018

Kenya: Google Grants U.S.$2 Million for Top Kenyan Techies

Technology Firm Google has unveiled a Sh200 million grant for non-profit and social-based enterprises using technology to improve lives.

The 12 finalists of the first African Google Impact Challenge, which must be registered charities in Kenya will share the grant for ideas that can improve the society.

"We believe technology can help local and national organisations to better reach their goals and solve some of the continent's most pressing challenges, and we are eager to back people who are using technology in new ways to make a positive difference in their communities," said Google Kenya country manager Charles Murito.

Six months

The enterprises will have six months to apply for the grant before the judging process to pick the 12 finalists begins.

They will be selected based on community impact and reach, innovation and technology, scalability and feasibility.

The public will vote for the idea they believe has the most potential and the judges will select three more winners after hearing in-person pitches from a set of finalists. Each winner will receive Sh25 million.

Another eight finalists will be awarded Sh12.5 million each.

The winning non-profits and social enterprises will receive cash as well as access to guidance, technical assistance and mentorship from Google, which they are free to take up should they so choose.

The judges include Manu Chandaria, Caroline Mutoko, Tegla Loroupe, Tabitha Karanja, Janet Mawiyoo, Salim Mohammed as well as Charles Murito.

Social enterprise

"We also want to highlight the healthy state of social enterprise in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa today, and encourage non-profits to consider how technology and innovation can help them reach their goals," he said.

Google is also simultaneously rolling out the GIC in Nigeria and South Africa, bringing the total grant offered in the three countries to $6 million.

Google4Nigeria in July 2017, Google.org announced that it is investing Sh2 billion in non-profits working across the continent over the next five years.

The final awards ceremony will be held during the week of 26 November.

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