Facebook has announced a ₦500 million grant to support 781 small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Nigeria, as part its $100 million Global Grants Programme announced earlier this year, which aims to support 30,000 SMBs in over 30 countries.
Aimed at stimulating economic recovery following the effects of COVID-19, this is expected to help empower and extend a lifeline to local small business owners who have been most affected.
The grants will be administered and managed by Deloitte in partnership with FATE Foundation and Afrigrants. It will be provided as a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses as they rebuild, re-engineer and recover operations during this challenging year.
Available to qualifying SMBs in Nigeria, applications were opened from 24th August 2020 for the North East, North West and South East regions and 26th August 2020 for the South West, South-South and North Central regions.
SMBs can check www.facebook.com/grantsforbusiness to see whether they are eligible as well as apply and find out more details about the programme.
In the recent State of Small Business Report, published by Facebook in partnership with the OECD and the World Bank, the many challenges faced by SMBs during this COVID-19 crisis were laid bare, specifically with over 37 per cent of SMBs in Nigeria saying that cash is a concern.
Announcing the grants, Regional Director, Facebook Africa, Nunu Ntshingila, said: “We know small businesses are the engine of the Nigerian economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has extended beyond a public health crisis to an economic emergency, with small businesses most affected. We are listening to the challenges that small business owners are facing right now and want to provide useful resources for them during this difficult and uncertain year.”
Recognizing that SMBs need training, digitization assistance and improved social connection infrastructure as consumer behaviour shifts online, Facebook has also rolled out virtual versions of its in-person training – Boost with Facebook across Nigeria. These free webinars and online resources cover a range of topics from how to take business online, build resilience, stay connected with customers and adapt in real time, Ntshingila said.