Facebook is working to help re-build small businesses that have been struck down by the extended economic lockdown in South Africa.
South Africa (27 August 2020) – Facebook today announced a grant of over R8,5 million to support 217 small businesses in South Africa, as part of its $100m 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.
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 will be open from 27 August 2020 – 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 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.
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 44% of SMBs in South Africa saying that cash flow over the next few months is a concern.
“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” said Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa.
To make sure the grant is accessible to all, the website supports the following languages: English, Zulu, Afrikaans, IsiXhosa, Sepedi and Sesotho.