MSME

Facebook announces ₹32 crore grants for SMBs in India

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 15, 2020 Published on September 15, 2020

Ajit Mohan, MD and VP, Facebook India

Facebook has announced a grant of ₹32 crores for more than 3,000 small businesses across Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore.

The grant includes both cash and credits, with cash constituting a larger share. The Grant program is open to small businesses from all industries and verticals, and companies do not need to have a Facebook family of apps presence to apply. They are also free to do what they wish to do with this grant.

"According to a survey we did with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank more than a third of operational SMBs on Facebook India expect cash flow to be a challenge in the next few months. We hope that our grant, along with the numerous other steps that we’re taking to aid the recovery of small businesses, can help some of them emerge from the crisis," Ajit Mohan, MD and VP, Facebook India told BusinessLine

Small businesses are a big priority for Facebook. Every month, 180 million small businesses globally use the Facebook family of apps to reach potential customers and build their business.

"The 60 million small businesses in India are a key growth driver for the economy, fueling innovation and disruptive business models. They enable a reduction in income inequality, create new jobs, and contribute 30% to the GDP. As more small businesses come online in India over the next decade, fuelled by the rapid adoption of digital technologies, Facebook can play a material role in enabling new opportunities for them," Mohan said.

"The recovery of small businesses from the pandemic will be critical to the recovery of the Indian economy, and we want to do everything we can to help. Earlier this year, we underlined our commitment to India and especially to small businesses through the $5.7 billion investment and partnership with Jio Platforms. Today we’re building on our commitment by announcing the small business grant for India," he added.

The State of the SMB Survey also revealed that 41% of operational SMBs on Facebook India reported that at least a quarter of their sales are made digitally. More than half of operational SMBs on Facebook India also said that they feel optimistic about the future of their business.

 

To help small businesses impacted by Covid-19, Facebook and Instagram have launched capabilities for businesses to drive the discovery and sale of Gift Cards. "Gift cards will help small businesses reach more potential customers online. They will also help small businesses to get cash flow when they need it the most, and even when physical stores might be shut. Configuring gift cards on Facebook and Instagram is free for businesses, and we have tied up with multiple partners to enable the issuance and management of Gift Cards," Mohan said.

Facebook has identified SMBs as one of the key areas of growth. It had recently announced flagship program for skilling small businesses, Boost with Facebook, which saw more than 12,000 people register for it - 4x more than an in-person event. Other India-focused programs such as the Facebook Advertiser Vintage program and VC Brand Incubator initiative have also gone virtual.

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Published on September 15, 2020
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