Facebook India on Tuesday announced a grant of $4.3 million (Rs 32 crore) for more than 3,000 small businesses in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru.
The grant, which includes both cash and ad credits with cash constituting a larger share, is part of a $100 million global grant for small businesses Facebook announced in March this year as the Covid-19 pandemic began to spread globally.
“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,” Ajit Mohan, MD, and VP, Facebook India, said in a statement.
Facebook and Instagram also launched 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.
Configuring gift cards on Facebook and Instagram is free for businesses.
Facebook also released India’s findings of 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 SMBs globally, including India, in the context of Covid-19.
According to the survey, more than a third of operational SMBs on Facebook India expect cash flow to be a challenge in the next few months.
Nearly 41 percent of operational SMBs on Facebook India reported that at least a quarter of their sales are made digitally.
More than half of operational SMBs on Facebook India also said they feel optimistic about the future of their business.
According to Facebook, 180 million small businesses globally use the Facebook family of apps to reach potential customers and build their business.
It means, for every 45 people in the world, there is a small business presence on the Facebook family of apps.
“The 60 million small businesses in India are a key growth driver for the economy, fueling innovation and disruptive business models,” Mohan noted.
The social media giant in April announced to pour in Rs 43,574 crore for a 9.99 percent slice in Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)-led Jio Platforms, underlining its commitment to India and especially small businesses.