Facebook Head of Public Policy East Africa Mercy Ndegwa and Wylde International Managing Director Joram Mwinamo during the launch of the Boost with Facebook in Kenya. www.businesstoday.co.ke
Facebook Head of Public Policy East Africa Mercy Ndegwa and Wylde International Managing Director Joram Mwinamo during the launch of the Boost with Facebook in Kenya. [Photo/Facebook]

For SMEs, growing a business is a hurdle that must be jumped, as publicity that reaches as many clients as possible, as well as logistical planning, becomes a reality.

Whereas the digital space has served as an equaliser for many services, the opportunities that are there need to be ceased. At times, though, lack of knowledge leads to downfall.

Facebook wants to bridge this gap and is offering small and medium-sized businesses a chance to undergo training on digital tools and technologies so as to grow business.

The program is dubbed Boost with Facebook and its launch in Kenya on September 19 makes the country the ninth in Africa where the initiative is being carried out. Boost, on Facebook, is a service that allows users to pay the social media site a fee so that their posts can be targetted at masses on the platform.

Facebook, which has partnered with Wylde International for the training program, says it is targetting 3,000 SMEs across four counties in Kenya. The counties in which Facebook will be seeking to raise awareness of how SMEs can among others connect with new customers are Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru and Mombasa.

“The trainings are free and open to Small and Medium-Sized businesses interested and will be available as 4-5 hour workshops, with the first to be held in the week of 23rd Sep 2019 in Nairobi,” the social media giant said in a press statement.

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Interested SMEs, Facebook said, would need to register online via a Boost with Facebook website so as to confirm their attendance for the workshops.

Mercy Ndegwa, Facebook’s Head of Public Policy East Africa said the initiative would enable local businesses to use social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram so as to unlock business opportunities.

Entrepreneurship plays an integral role in driving Kenya’s economy and providing economic opportunities for Kenyans. Globally, we have more than 1.6 billion people connected to small or medium sized businesses on Facebook,” she said.

Boost with Facebook, the social media giant added, will provide learning and skills development for SMEs, empowering them to thrive in a digital economy.

Wylde International’s Managing Director Joram Mwinano added: “At Wylde International we are committed to providing dynamic and transformational programs for small and medium sized businesses. We are excited to partner with Facebook and offer trainings that will focus on upscaling SMEs by enhancing their digital skills.”

The launch event also featured testimonials by entrepreneurs who have been using the boost product. “Once I started boosting on Facebook, the calls started coming in. I even started receiving calls from abroad of people who had seen my business on Facebook,” said Jane Ominde, who runs Jakizz Catering.

The launch of Boost with Facebook in Kenya follows launches of similar programmes across Africa including; South Africa, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon, DRC, Benin and Guinea Conakry, and is another step forward in enabling local businesses to unlock new business opportunities.

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Mike Njoroge is the founder of Daystar Oracle and FootballTriangle. He is passionate about news, religion and sports. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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