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Facebook creates multimillion-rand grant for SA small business

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Nunu Ntshingila, regional director, Facebook Africa.
Nunu Ntshingila, regional director, Facebook Africa.

Facebook yesterday launched a multimillion-rand grant programme for local small businesses as part of the social media company’s COVID-19 global relief efforts.

The grants programme is designed to benefit 30 000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries and they must have experienced operational challenges due to COVID-19, operating for more than a year and employing between two and 50 people.

In SA, the grant will be administered and managed by Deloitte, and the grants will be provided in “a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses as they rebuild, re-engineer and recover operations during this challenging year”, the company says.

Over 200 local small businesses will receive the more than R8.5 million grant and have until 5 September to apply.

“We know small businesses are the engines of the South African economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has extended beyond a public health crisis to an economic emergency, with these small businesses most affected. We’re listening to the challenges these small business owners are facing right now and want to provide useful resources for them during this difficult and uncertain year,” says Nunu Ntshingila, regional director, Facebook Africa.

In its recent State of Small Business report, Facebook, in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank, found that cashflow over the next few months is a concern to 44% of small business enterprises in SA.

The grants offered by Facebook are part of the company’s global relief fund of over $100 million to stimulate economic recovery following the effects of COVID-19.

Facebook says this will help empower and extend a lifeline to local small business owners who have been most affected.

The social media company says it will also be offering training and digitalisation assistance, and will assist companies to improve social connection infrastructure as consumer behaviour shifts online.

“Facebook has also rolled out virtual versions of its in-person training – Boost with Facebook – across South Africa. These free webinars and online resources cover a range of topics, from how to take your business online, build resilience, stay connected with customers and adapt in real-time.”

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