YouTube opens applications for Ksh 11B Black Voices Fund

Kenyan YouTube content creators have a chance to tap the Ksh 11 billion ($100 million) to improve their content quality as the online video sharing platform opens applications for its Black Voices Fund (BVF) Class of 2023.

Besides funding, successful applicants will also receive dedicated partner support, and get the opportunity to participate in bespoke training workshops and networking programmes.

Among those targeted through BVF include black creators, artists, songwriters, and producers who will be equipped with resources and support to enable them thrive on Alphabet owned platform.

YouTube Emerging Markets Managing Director Alex Okosi has said, since inception in 2020, BVF  has welcomed over 300 grantees from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, the United States, and Kenya, among them musicians, beauty entrepreneurs, comedians, activists, poets, personal trainers, parents, photographers, gamers, and more.

“The African creator community is filled with so many talented, brilliant, passionate, and driven creatives, and we are honoured to equip these talented creators and artists with additional resources to match their drive. At YouTube, we’ve always tried to facilitate the rise of diverse voices, all inclusive of gender and race. Through the Black Voices Fund, in the past two years we have been able to amplify the perspectives and experiences of these diverse creators,” said Okosi.

Okosi added that YouTube has also partnered with community-based groups to build the Future Insiders programme, specifically targeting over 180 at-risk and underprivileged students who are interested in a future in the music and creative professions.

Participants in the program take part in quarterly sessions that cover YouTube success, career routes, accessing talent and thought leaders, and well-being.

“Africa is overflowing with incredible talent. We are excited to discover the amazing creators the next round of applications will bring with it as we continue to invest in the amplification of Black creators,” added Okosi.

The 2021 BVF cohort included 133 grantees, with 26 creators from Africa among them Mandi Sarro, Wendy Angel Nangayo (Angel Lately), Justus Nandwa, and Cheyenne Chelimo from Kenya who joined the second cohort of the YouTube BVF Class of 2022.


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