By Emma Okonji
Facebook has announced a N500 million grant to support 781 small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Nigeria, as part its $100 million 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 is expected to help empower and extend a lifeline to local small business owners who have been most affected.
The grants would be administered and managed by Deloitte in partnership with FATE Foundation and Afrigrants. 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.
Available to qualifying SMBs in Nigeria, applications were opened from 24th August 2020 for the North East, North West and South East regions and 26th August 2020 for the South West, South-South and North Central regions.
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 over 37 per cent of SMBs in Nigeria saying that cash is a concern.
Announcing the grants, Regional Director, Facebook Africa, Nunu Ntshingila, said: “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 small businesses most affected. We are listening to the challenges that small business owners are facing right now and want to provide useful resources for them during this difficult