Social media giant, Facebook, has announced a N500 million grant to support 781 small businesses in Nigeria, as part its $100m Global Grants Programme announced earlier this year. The grant aims to support 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries. The initiative, which is aimed at stimulating economic recovery following the effects of COVID-19, will help empower and extend a lifeline to local small business owners who have been most affected. According to a statement from Facebook, 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 businesses in Nigeria, applications will be open from August 24, 2020 for the North East, North West and South East regions and August 26, 2020 for the South West, South-South and North Central regions,” it stated. 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 small businesses during this COVID- 19 crisis were laid bare, specifically with over 37 per cent in Nigeria saying that cash constraint is a concern.
“We know small businesses are the engine of the Nigerian economy, the COVID-19 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.