Facebook is looking to move over the image disaster that it recently was a part of, in India, and has announced a $4.3 million grant for more than 3000 businesses across Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore, where the company has offices.
This grant is a part of the $100 million global grant that the company announced earlier this year to help small businesses survive the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic induced economic slowdown.
“The Grant program is open to small businesses from all industries and verticals, and businesses do not need to have a Facebook family of apps presence in order to apply. They are also free to do what they wish to do with this grant,” said Ajit Mohan, MD and VP, Facebook India.
Moreover, to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19, Facebook and Instagram will roll out 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,” Mohan said, adding that configuring these cards will be free.
This is because 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. Thus, the company hopes that this new move will help businesses grow their presence thanks to new, lucrative offers.
The company also announced the India findings the State of Small Business Report, an ongoing research collaboration between Facebook, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank to survey small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around the world, including India, in the context of COVID-19. The findings show that about a third of operational SMBs on Facebook India expect cash flow to be a challenge due to the effects of the coronavirus. Thus, Facebook hopes that this grant, along with the new gift cards, will provide some sort of relief to Indians entrepreneurs and small business owners, which make up for a big chunk of the country’s entire GDP.
You can learn more about the grant and apply here.