YouTube has today invited applications for its Black Voices Fund (BVF) Class of 2023 that will see successful creators receive funding, dedicated partner support, and an opportunity to participate in bespoke training workshops and networking programs aimed at improving quality of content uploaded on their channels.
BVF seeks to recognise and equip black creators, artists, songwriters, and producers with the resources and support to enable them thrive on YouTube.
Since its inception in 2020, the program 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,” said Alex Okosi, MD, YouTube Emerging Markets.
YouTube has also partnered with community-based groups to build the Future Insiders program, 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.
The 2021 BVF cohort included 133 grantees hailing from Kenya, the United States,, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and Nigeria, with 26 creators and artists from Africa.
The second cohort, the YouTube BVF Class of 2022 had four Kenyans among 26 African YouTubers selected to join an international cohort of 135 content creators.
Alumni from the continent include reality star entertainer Lasizwe Dambuza, personal trainer and health and wellness advocate Mitchelle Adagala, musician Sho Madjozi and TV presenter, entrepreneur and actress Tomike Adeoye.
“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,” Okosi said.