Facebook has launched an R8.5 million grant scheme to support small businesses in South Africa who have been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 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.
The grant scheme forms part of its $100 million Global Grants Programme announced earlier this year, which aims to support 30,000 small and midsize business (SMBs) in over 30 countries. The social media platform said that the programme is targeted at stimulating economic recovery following the effects of Covid-19, which will help “empower and extend a lifeline to local small business owners who have been most affected”.
According to the latest 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.
On the other hand, as part of its initiative to assist small businesses, Facebook has also set up a platform to help with groups that 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. 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,” the group said.
“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,” added Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa.
To be eligible to apply, businesses must:
Have between 2 and 50 employees;
Have been in business for over a year;
Have experienced challenges due to Covid-19.
Those who are interested to apply for the grant can visit, 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.