By G9ija
Facebook on Monday said it will support 781 small businesses in Nigeria with N500 million grant to cushion the effects of COVID-19.

The company in a statement said that the N500 million was part of its 100 million Dollars Global Grants Programme announced earlier in the year.

It said that the global grant programme was aimed at supporting 30,000 Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in over 30 countries.

According to Facebook, the grant was also aimed at stimulating economic recovery following the effects of COVID-19, noting that it would help empower and extend a lifeline to local small business owners who have been most affected.

“The grants will be administered and managed by Deloitte in partnership with FATE Foundation and Afrigrants.

“It will be provided as a combination of cash and advert credits to help small businesses as they rebuild, re-engineer and recover operations during this challenging year.

“It is available to qualifying SMBs in Nigeria and applications will be open from Aug 24, for the North East, North West and South East regions.

“For those in the South West, South-South and North Central regions applications will be opened on Aug. 26, at http://www.facebook.com/grantsforbusiness,” it said.

The company said that because it also realised that SMBs needed training, digitisation and improved social connection infrastructure as consumer behaviour shifts online, it had rolled out virtual versions of its in-person training `Boost with Facebook across Nigeria’.

It said that the free webinars and online resources covered a range of topics from how to take a business online, build resilience, stay connected with customers and adapt in real-time.

Commenting, Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa said: “We know small businesses are the engine of the Nigerian economy, the pandemic has extended beyond a public health crisis to an economic emergency, with these businesses most affected.

“We are 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.”

NAN.