Facebook, has announced a ₦500-million grant to support 781 small and micro businesses in Nigeria, as part of the $100 million Global Grants Programme it announced earlier this year, which intends to support 30,000 SMBs in over 30 countries.

Facebook said this move is meant to boost economic recovery following the effects of COVID-19 by helping empower and extend a lifeline of local small business that have been affected the most.

The firm also said the grants will be administered and managed by Deloitte in partnership with the FATE Foundation and Afrigrants.

According to Facebook, the grants will be provided as a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses rebuild, re-engineer, and recover operations during theven Post-COVID-19 period.

It also explained that the grant is available to qualified SMBs in Nigeria, while applications will be open from August 24 for the North East, North West, and South East regions, and August 26 for the South West, South-South, and North Central regions. SMBs can check Facebook to see whether they’re eligible as well as apply and find out more details about the programme.

The recent State of Small Business Report, published by Facebook in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank, the many challenges faced by SMBs during this COVID-19 crisis were revealed, specifically with over 37 per cent in Nigeria saying that cash is a concern.

“We know small businesses are the engine of the Nigerian economy, the COVID-19 pandemic has extended beyond a public health crisis to an economic emergency, with these small businesses most affected. We’re listening to the challenges these small business owners are facing right now, and want to provide useful resources for them during this difficult and uncertain year,” said Regional Director, Facebook Africa, Nunu Ntshingila.