BENGALURU: Social networking major Facebook on Saturday said it will train 5 million people in India with digital skills and global market access by 2021. This is part of the company’s plan to enable small businesses to reach the global economy. For the US-based company, India is one of the largest and fastest growing markets. Presently, the company has 10 ongoing programmes in India focused on digital empowerment. It has already trained one million people across 150 cities and 48,000 villages with support from 50 partners. A ‘Facebook Community Boost’ programme aims at empowering and training the community in digital skills.
“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 building a thriving economy,” said Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director (India, South & Central Asia).
“Small businesses know the potential of the Internet. They tend to shy away from getting online because of their limited digital skills,” Das added. The company also runs programmes like ‘Boost Your Business’ and ‘She Means Business’, in partnership with state and Central governments, civil societies and private institutions, focusing on facilitating economic transformation and mainstreaming of grassroots level businesses 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 effect on the local economy. The training modules for these businesses in digital marketing and online safety, developed by Facebook, are locally relevant and available in 14 local languages. Facebook’s programmes reached 29 states in India, including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Maharashtra, Assam, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan, among others.
In addition, Facebook jobs product enables businesses to post job listings and empowers youth to find employment even in remote geographies. The Facebook training programmes entail simple lessons that help to build a digital presence, avoiding expensive fees for creating and hosting websites, tap into the growing mobile economy and gain market access by learning to market their products to more than 2 billion Facebook users globally.