Social media platform, Facebook, has announced a ₦500-million grant to support 781 small and micro businesses in Nigeria, as part of its $100 million Global Grants Programme, announced earlier this year, which aims to support 30,000 SMBs in over 30 countries.
Facebook said the move is aimed at stimulating economic recovery following the effects of COVID-19, to help empower and extend a lifeline to local small business owners who have been most affected.
The US-based technology firm said the grants will be administered and managed by Deloitte in partnership with the FATE Foundation and Afrigrants.
According to Facebook, it 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.
It explained that the grant is available to qualified SMBs in Nigeria, while applications will be open from August 24 for the North East, North West, and South East regions, and August 26 for the South West, South-South, and North Central regions. SMBs can check Facebook to see whether they’re eligible as well as apply and find out more details about the programme.
In the recent State of Small Business Report, published by Facebook in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank, the many challenges faced by SMBs during this COVID-19 crisis were laid bare, specifically with over 37 per cent in Nigeria saying that cash is a concern.
“We know small businesses are the engine of the Nigerian 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 Regional Director, Facebook Africa, Nunu Ntshingila.