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Facebook announces grant programme to assist small businesses in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG – Applications for the Facebook small business grants programme close on 5 September.

Facebook has announced a grant of over R8.5 million to support 217 small businesses in South Africa, on 27 August.

The grant forms part of the company’s (R1 692)-million USD Global Grants programme that was announced earlier this year, which aims to support 30 000 small and mid-size business (SMBs) in over 30 countries. According to Facebook, this is aimed at stimulating economic recovery following the effects of Covid-19 and 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 to 5 September 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.

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.”

According to Facebook’s recently published State of Small Business Report in partnership with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank, the many challenges faced by SMBs during this Covid-19 crisis were laid bare, specifically with 44 per cent 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,” said Nunu Ntshingila, regional director of Facebook Africa. “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,” Ntshingila concluded.

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