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Amidst COVID-19, Facebook aids African SMEs through EIPs

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Facebook Tuesday announced that all its Economic Impact Programmes (EIPs) will be offered virtually as the platform seeks to equip small businesses with digital marketing skills to help them stay open, connect with and acquire new customers to survive challenges presented by Coronavirus.

Facebook’s Economic Impact Programmes include Boost with Facebook currently implemented in 11 African countries, targeting over 41,000 small businesses, SheMeansBusiness (SMBs) available in Nigeria, South Africa and Senegal reaching 7,500 participants, Digify Pro offered in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa with 230 participants and Aspiring Entrepreneurs Programme which works with 360 participants in Nigeria.

These programmes, available virtually from June 23rd 2020 will include 90 minute long Instructor-led live webinar sessions featuring presentations, demonstrations, lectures and virtual discussions. As part of this there will also be Facebook/Instagram Live sessions that will feature business owners, entrepreneurs, and startups who will provide seminars and talks on various topics, with trainers also hosting ‘office hours’ to accommodate questions  asked by participants.

Commenting on the announcement, Phil Oduor, Policy Programs Manager for Economic Impact and Digital Literacy, Facebook said, “We know that businesses all over the continent, especially small businesses, are experiencing unexpected challenges. These specially curated programmes will provide much-needed support and advice to SMBs looking to build, establish and grow their businesses.”

Facebook remains committed to supporting SMB’s across SSA by offering training aimed at equipping SMBs with vital skills to leverage digital tools to stay in touch with their customers and achieve their business goals in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Understanding Facebook Economic Impact programs:

Business Hilights gathered that boost with Facebook is a one-day workshop that offers small business owners an opportunity to learn more about how digital tools can be used as a tool for business growth while also making meaningful connections with potential consumers. Boost with Facebook program kicked off in Africa in 2017 and since then has seen over 80,000 small businesses trained across the continent. The program has run in 11 countries, including; Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, DRC, Guinea and Niger. From this month, the program will expand to Burkina Faso, Mali, Gabon, and Congo Brazzaville.

SheMeansBusiness; When women do well, economies do well: #SheMeansBusiness Program provides support to thousands of female business owners in Nigeria and South Africa. In 2018 Facebook undertook a partnership with She Leads Africa to launch training initiatives across Nigeria to train over 4000 female entrepreneurs with digital skills, but this was just the beginning. To date, Facebook has trained over 7,000 female entrepreneurs in 10 states in Nigeria, and will continue to expand the program in 2020. Last year, Facebook launched the #SheMeansBusiness Program in South Africa targeting to reach 4,000 women-owned small and medium-sized businesses and female entrepreneurs across all the nine provinces in South Africa, in partnership with UN Women and a local public-benefit organization, Siyafunda Community Technology Centers. Facebook trained over 6,500 female entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMBs in all the nine provinces, hosting over 150 training sessions. From this month, we are expanding the program to Senegal for the first time, in partnership with Smart Ecosystems for Women.

FINDigify Pro; Facebook is committed to building a pipeline of skilled talent to help build digital industries across Africa. We believe in the power of African youth to help drive future economies across Africa. Digital industries can be an important contributor to local economies and we are invested in doing what we can to help build a pipeline of talent to support these industries for future growth.

Aspiring Entrepreneurs Program: This is an in-depth four-week training programme that gives selected entrepreneurs the opportunity to truly master the art of digital marketing, and acquire key skills to take their businesses further. In partnership with the Fate Foundation, these sessions have run in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Benin City, Aba, Abeokuta, Calabar, Kaduna, Enugu and Ibadan. Graduates of this programme receive mentorship support and access to business tools and applications.

Business Hilights is an online news channel conceptualized and structured to report and track on a daily basis; latest developments in critical business sectors to serve as a one stop news gateway for governments, foreign and indigenous investors.