Berlin-based Founderland has just been named one of 34 selected organizations to receive funds from the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls. The $25 million philanthropy challenge was launched in March with a challenge to the global nonprofit community to submit their boldest and most innovative ideas to create a more equitable economic reality for women and girls.
Founderland exists to level the playing field, supporting women of colour founders to grow sustainable businesses, empowering them through community, education, and investor-readiness support.
Founderland is 1 of 5 European projects selected for this funding cohort out of nearly 8,000 applications globally. In addition to funding, Founderland will participate in a four-month accelerator program led by Google’s Accelerator and Women Techmakers communities and Impact Challenge partner Vital Voices to move projects forward.
The Co-founders, Alina Bassi, Deborah Choi, and Stephanie von Behr stated: “With the help of Google.org Impact Challenge for Women & Girls, we at Founderland envision a sea change in Europe. A new wave of visible, funded and connected women founders who’ve been historically left out and left behind. By unlocking access to funding for women who’ve faced obstacles in their business journeys tied to their race or ethnicity, we create new representations for the next generation, we expect job creation for recent graduates and education for girls within underserved communities, and we foresee innovation addressing a wider net of Europeans, by getting more women of colour funded.”
They continued: “This capital comes at a critical time in our journey to build a more inclusive tech ecosystem, where less than 0.5% of venture capital goes to women of colour founders and only 2% goes to women in general. We will be launching two investor-readiness accelerators annually, a robust intersectional community of allies, investors, and industry partners to support women of colour founders to become more confident as leaders, growing sustainable businesses and also raising capital.”
Google.org partnered with a women-led panel of experts and gender equity-focused organizations Vital Voices and Project Everyone to evaluate proposals based on four key criteria: innovation, impact, feasibility, and scalability. The selected nonprofits have outlined projects that will help women and girls, especially those in geographically, economically, or socially marginalized populations, reach their full economic potential.
Jacquelline Fuller, the President of Google.org stated: “Globally, women have been nearly twice as likely to lose their jobs during COVID-19 as men. It’s vital that we elevate and support work that empowers women and girls to reach their full economic potential, especially in marginalized communities. The pandemic recovery must be an inclusive one, and we know that when we invest in women and girls, we all benefit.”