New grant programme launches for SA small businesses

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Globally popular and widely used social media platform, Facebook has launched a grant programme to provide funding for over 200 eligible South African small businesses.

The grant progamme is valued at over R8.5-million and will assist 217 local small businesses

The funding provided will help financially support small businesses after taking a hard knockdown due to the impacts of lockdown and Covid-19, providing a much-needed financial lifeline. 

The grant, valued at over R8.5-million will be used to support 217 local small businesses. This grant programme forms as part of Facebook’s $100-million Global Grants Programme which was announced earlier this year. 

The most recent  State of Small Business Report, published by Facebook in partnership with the OECD and the World Bank revealed that many small businesses faced numerous challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It revealed that 44% of small businesses in South Africa were concerned about their financial viability and cash flow over the next few months. 

Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa explains that there is a dire need to financially support small businesses as they play an integral in stimulating the local economy and providing employment opportunities for South Africans. 

“We know small businesses are the engines of the South African 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” 

The Global Grants Programme aims to support 30 000 small businesses in over 30 countries across the globe and is aimed at stimulating economic recovering following the devastating effects of Covid-19. 

The grants will be managed and administered by Deloitte South Africa. Provided as a combination of cash and ad credits, the grants aim to assist small businesses in their rebuilding, re-engineering, and recovery operations. 

How can small businesses apply for funding 

Small business owners are encouraged to apply for the funding and will undergo an eligibility selection process. 

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible to apply for the grant programme, small businesses must meet the below requirements: 

  • Have between 2 and 50 employees
  • Have been in business for over a year
  • Have experienced challenges due to Covid-19
  • Be in or near a location where Facebook operates

Applications will be open from 27 August and will close on 5 September 2020 at 6pm.  

Businesses can apply here

More information about the programme can be found here. 

Free digitalisation training for small businesses 

Facebook has also launched a series of free webinars that offer training in digitalisation and improving social connection infrastructure as more consumers are moving to online purchasing. 

Titled, ‘Boost with Facebook Across South Africa’, small business owners are encouraged to attend these webinars as it will cover a range of topics from businesses resilience, how to take your business online, and more. 

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Featured image: Kaique Rocha via Pexels
Ishani Chetty: Editor
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