Facebook has launched an initiative to support Lebanese SMBs, ( Small and mid-sized (or medium-sized) business , reeling from the effects of the coronavirus and the explosion at the Port of Beirut last year.
Facebook, through the #LoveLocal Lebanon SMB Programme, will contribute $600,000 in cash and Facebook ad credits to small Lebanese businesses. The contribution includes a cash donation of $300,000 to LIFE, a not-for-profit Lebanese diaspora organisation. LIFE will leverage its experience and network on the ground to allocate donations to SMBs in Lebanon.
Facebook has also partnered with Beirut-based e-commerce platform Ecomz, and media and marketing services company Mindshare, to launch Ecommerce Start – Lebanon, a bootcamp programme developed to support 100 SMBs as they look to build their e-commerce presence and expand internationally. Additionally, selected SMBs will be eligible to receive an ad credit coupon.
In collaboration with Seedstars, a series of free webinars will also be made available to SMBs through Boost with Facebook that covers various facets of digital marketing on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.
Facebook is also collaborating with the International Chamber of Commerce-United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia Centre of Entrepreneurship (CoE) in Beirut to support outreach to the SMBs in Lebanon and the overall #LoveLocal Lebanon SMB Programme. ICC and ESCWA’s network of local businesses and chambers of commerce will help SMBs access the #LoveLocal Lebanon SMB Programme.
“Businesses in Lebanon are particularly in need of support as they charge ahead through many layers of obstacles resulting from the Beirut blast months earlier and the many other compounding socio-economic complexities,” said Ramez Shehadi, managing director, Facebook MENA. “Against this backdrop in Lebanon and what the evolving global digital landscape can bring to bear, we at Facebook are committed to help SMBs react, recover and rebound – from improving online presence, reaching new customers across borders, adopting new tools and developing skills to drive and scale commercial growth online and beyond.”