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Programme to support small businesses


Nunu Ntshingila

Johannesburg – Facebook has announced a grant of over R8,5-million to support 217 small businesses in South Africa, as part of 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 will help empower and extend a lifeline to local small business owners who have been most affected.

Regional director for Facebook Africa Nunu Ntshingila says 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 are 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,” Ntshingila says.

Administered and managed by Deloitte South Africa, the grants 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 South Africa where Facebook has an office, applications are open up to 5 September 2020 at www.facebook.com/grantsforbusiness, where SMBs will be able to see whether they’re eligible as well as find out more details about the programme.

Also recognising that SMBs need training, digitalisation assistance and improved social connection infrastructure as consumer behaviour shifts online, Facebook has rolled out virtual versions of its Boost with Facebook in-person training 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.

In the recent State of Small Business Report published by Facebook in partnership with the OECD and the World Bank, the challenges faced by SMBs during this Covid-19 crisis were laid bare, specifically with 44% of SMBs in South Africa saying that cash flow over the next few months is a concern.