Nonprofits and social enterprises in Nigeria have cause to cheer and make merry as twelve such organisations took home grants worth USD 2 Mn in total at the Google Impact Challenge in Nigeria having reached the finals of the maiden edition of the competition.
It would be recalled that in 2017, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, announced a funding commitment worth USD 20 Mn from the tech company as investments into nonprofits across Africa to enable them to create impact in their immediate communities. Hence, the Google Impact Challenge was birthed.
Google Impact Challenge Africa kicked off in May this year through an open call to disburse USD 6 Mn in grants to 36 beneficiaries who will be selected from nonprofits, social enterprises, and ecosystem builders in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.
The four winners in the Nigerian leg of the competition who each bagged USD 250 K in grants include; The Cece Yara Foundation, HelpMum, Project Enable Africa, and Vetsark. Three of these winners were selected by a panel of judges, with Vetsark getting in amongst the numbers by virtue of its selection by the general public.
The remaining finalists were not left out as there was something for them too. Amongst the eight other finalists who took home USD 125 K each as their share of the spoils were such organisations as BudgIT Foundation, Bunmi Adedayo Foundation, Junior Achievement Nigeria, LearnFactory Nigeria, Rural Development and Reformation Foundation, Seed Tracker IITA, Solar Sister Nigeria, and the Roothub Tech 101.
Some of the notable personalities who sat on the jury of the competition were Chairman and CEO of Channels Media Group, John Momoh; Parminder Vir, CEO Tony Elumelu Foundation; CEO of Chocolate City Music Group, Jude ‘MI’ Abaga; Philanthropist and Executive Director of Nigeria Network of NGOs, Oluseyi Oyebisi; Managing General Partner EchoVC Partners, Eghosa Omoigui; and Google Nigeria’s Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor.
According to a statement signed by Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google Communications and PR Manager for West Africa, the funding will be doled out in tranches, released to each of the winners as they reach a set of predefined milestones unique to each venture. As an additional perk, the winners and runners-up will also receive support from Google to achieve their goals and meet those milestones.
Google Impact Challenge Africa kicked off in May with more than 5,000 applications received in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Whittling the list of entries down to a final twelve in each of the three countries was made possible by a team of Googlers and Google partners with expertise in the sector. Voting was then opened to the public from 8 to 26 November. At the grand finale, each entrant pitched their enterprise to a judging panel, which voted on the winners. The results of the public vote determined the people’s choice winner.
In largely the same manner, sister competitions were simultaneously held in Kenya (see details) and South Africa (see details) with 24 winners and runners-up in total having since emerged in both countries.
Feature image courtesy: punch.ng