More than a third of small and medium enterprises Facebook in India, cash flow will be a challenge for them as they navigate the coronavirus pandemic in the coming months, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank.
Facebook, which reaches nearly every Internet user in India and which collaborated with the OECD and the World Bank on the report, is keen to help. The social giant today announced a grant of $ 4.3 million for more than 3,000 small businesses in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore (Indian cities where the company has its offices).
In an interview with TechCrunch, Ajit Mohan, head of Facebook India, said the grant includes both cash credits and advertising credits, with cash making up the largest share. These businesses do not need to advertise on Facebook to be eligible for the grant, he said. Companies can apply for the scholarship starting today.
The India grant is part of the company’s $ 100 million global small business grant it announced in March.
In addition, Facebook and Instagram have also launched capabilities for Indian businesses to sell gift cards. “During the pandemic, it was inspiring to see how people and businesses came together on the Facebook family of apps to support their local communities,” Mohan said.
These gift cards, which will be issued by start-ups Quiksilver and PayU, are designed to help businesses get the immediate cash flow to stay afloat. Users can redeem these gift cards at these locations later.
The announcement comes today as Facebook begins to engage deeply with small businesses across the country. The company invested $ 5.7 billion in Jio Platforms earlier this year and said it would work with the Indian giant to explore ways to serve the country’s 60 million businesses.
“The recovery of small businesses from the pandemic will be critical to the recovery of the Indian economy, and we want to do all we can to help. Today we build on our commitment by announcing the Small Business Grant for India, ”Mohan said.
Many companies in India are already using Facebook to reach potential customers. One of the companies that has used Facebook extensively in recent quarters is WhiteHat Jr., an 18-month-old startup that teaches coding to kids. The start-up was acquired by Indian decacorn Byju’s for $ 300 million last month.
More information on Facebook’s activities in India tomorrow. Mohan will be joining us at the Disrupt conference.
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