The Innovation Village teams up with Facebook to lift SMEsParticipants are being exposed to how to leverage digital tools for accelerating business growth through a series of webinars.
A series of webinars, ‘Boost With Facebook’ under the theme ‘Leveraging digital platforms for Covid-19 SME recovery’ have been launched by The Innovation Village through its Upskill project in partnership with Facebook, the social media giant.
The Innovation Village is located on the outskirts of central Kampala. In 2020, the global number of Facebook users is expected to reach 1.69 billion, up from 1.34 million in 2014.
The series over three days ending December 12, seek to share skills and knowledge to help small businesses build resilience to get back to business after the effects of the pandemic. A webinar is an online event where a speaker or small group of speakers, deliver a presentation to a large audience who participate by submitting questions, responding to polls and using other available interactive tools.
Mercy Ndegwa, the Head of Public Policy at Facebook for East and Horn of Africa said their company is dedicated to providing people with the power to grow their community using the tools and apps of the Facebook platform.
“Together with the World Bank, Facebook launched The Global State of Small Business Report to examine the impact of the pandemic on micro-businesses and livelihoods of people in Sub-Saharan Africa. We found that businesses suffered reduced revenues, cut off staff, and access to customers was hard. This training is one of our contributions to ensuring businesses get the opportunity to utilise the available resources that will enable them continue operations,” she said.
Day one begins with ‘The Pandemic and Its Effects on the Economy’. The webinar will feature case studies from various industry sector leaders. The second and third days will introduce the relevant ‘tools to drive your business’, ‘understanding your customers with Facebook page Insights’, ‘Telling your Facebook story using Instagram’, ‘the use of WhatsApp to grow your Business’, ‘how to build an effective advertising strategy and learning how to create Facebook Ads’.
The two month Covid-19 lockdown forced the closure of both large and small businesses, schools, and practically the entire economy. Apart from having to adapt to new social distancing requirements, SMEs owners were also forced to use digital platforms as well as build their business online presence to create new opportunities.
Sectors like tourism, hospitality, education and micro businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, while others like eCommerce and retail, fintech, eLogistics have thrived largely because of their prior adoption of digital platforms for carrying out business.
“This webinar series gives us an insight into how grassroots people are operating, and at the end of the 3-day training, we hope that business owners will learn how to embrace digital opportunities for their business growth as we empower their reach to a wider audience,” Ndegwa said.
CK Japheth, The Innovation Village Team Lead said a large number of businesses moved to online operations when the pandemic hit hard to avoid closure. “The pandemic only emphasized the role of technology in business operations and its convenience. At the Village, we were able to work with our startups to put over 4000 SMEs online. The partnership with Facebook gives us an opportunity in reaching more youth on how to navigate tools such as Facebook in digitizing their businesses.”
Japheth said, “Ninety six percent of entrepreneurs fail and that is a statistic that is common even in grown ecosystems, however the alternative is in working towards building a sustainable ecosystem to support businesses as they seek to scale.”
Aaron Musoke, the Senior Associate Special Projects under UpSkill at The Innovation Village said there is an abundance of digital knowledge that businesses can acquire to manage their businesses. He said “ The Facebook webinar series is one of those platforms that seeks to highlight how digital platforms can be used in business operations. A number of businesses have registered success using Facebook tools and the training only seeks to train others on how to use these opportunities.”