By Temmy Don
Facebook may be an American company but its commitment in Africa is awesome.
One area that has felt more the impact of its activities is the small and medium businesses, SMB sub sector.
Through the Facebook impact programmes, these otherwise unstructured outfits have been able to aggregate their potential, showcase to the world and gained prominence that leveraged their businesses.
But during the turn of Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, it appeared these economic impact programmes were not feasible as physical contacts became somewhat an aberration.
However, Facebook has sworn to keep the wheels of progress rolling.
It has now, announced that all its Economic Impact Programmes will be offered virtually as the platform seeks to equip small businesses with digital marketing skills to help them stay open, connect with and acquire new customers to survive challenges posed by Coronavirus.
Facebook’s Economic Impact Programmes include Boost with Facebook currently implemented in 11 African countries, targeting over 41,000 small businesses, SheMeansBusiness available in Nigeria, South Africa and Senegal reaching 7,500 participants, Digify Pro offered in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa with 230 participants and Aspiring Entrepreneurs Programme which works with 360 participants in Nigeria.
These programmes, available virtually from June 23rd 2020 will include 90-minute-long Instructor-led live webinar sessions featuring presentations, demonstrations, lectures and virtual discussions. As part of this there will also be Facebook/Instagram Live sessions that will feature business owners, entrepreneurs, and startups who will provide seminars and talks on various topics, with trainers also hosting ‘office hours’ to accommodate questions asked by participants.
Commenting on the announcement, Phil Oduor, Policy Programs Manager for Economic Impact and Digital Literacy, Facebook said, “We know that businesses all over the continent, especially small businesses, are experiencing unexpected challenges. These specially curated programmes will provide much-needed support and advice to SMBs looking to build, establish and grow their businesses.”
Facebook remains committed to supporting SMB’s across SSA by offering training aimed at equipping SMBs with vital skills to leverage digital tools to stay in touch with their customers and achieve their business goals in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.