Reiterating its commitment towards enabling small businesses to reach the global economy, Facebook has committed to training 5 million people with digital skills and global market access by 2021.
With ten ongoing programs, Facebook has already trained 1 million people across 150 cities and 48,000 villages with support from 50 partners. This initiative brings together Facebook’s efforts towards empowering and training the community in digital skills under the Facebook Community Boost program.
Inaugurating the event, Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director, India, South & Central Asia, said, “At Facebook, we want to ensure that the benefits of connectivity are realized by everyone, everywhere, in India. Our mission at Facebook is to empower local entrepreneurs with digital skills so that they can grow their business. We look forward to helping more enterprising people to tap the unlimited potential of our platform and contribute towards the building a thriving economy.”
She added, “Small businesses know the potential of the internet. We know that they tend to shy away because of their limited digital skills. This perception tends to keep small businesses away from getting online. We are very excited that our programs such as BoostYourBusiness, SheMeansBusiness, that are run in partnership with State and Central Government, civil society and private institutions, focus on facilitating economic transformation and mainstreaming of small businesses at the grassroots level into the formal economy.”
Small businesses have emerged as the most vibrant and dynamic engine of growth for the Indian economy with a powerful, multiplier impact on the local economy.
The training modules for these businesses in digital marketing and online safety developed by Facebook are locally relevant and are available in 14 local languages. Facebook’s programs reached 29 states in India, including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Odisha and Rajasthan among others.
In addition, Facebook jobs product enables businesses to post job listings and empowers youth to find jobs even in remote geographies.
Ankhi Das highlighted, “Accordingly to a survey, 95% people use Facebook on their mobile phones, with our free online and off-line trainings, people start benefitting almost immediately. Given that 70% of SMBs on Facebook built their business on Facebook, digital skills are becoming increasingly important. More than 80% of SMBs on Facebook say they have increased sales because of the platform and access to global and local market. All these facts encourage us to look at training 5 million people and entrepreneurs in much needed digital skills by the year 2021”
The Facebook training programs entail simple lessons that help to build a digital presence, avoiding expensive fees for creating and hosting websites, tap into the growing mobile economy, gain market access, by learning to market their products to more than 2 billion people globally who use Facebook, increase awareness about their products and services. This not only enables them to grow business but also help create new jobs in the state and contribute to overall growth of the economy.