Facebook just announced a game-changing new program for small businesses: Facebook Community Boost. With the program, experts from Facebook will travel to 30 American cities, many of them with large communities of black entrepreneurs, to “provide digital skills and training for people in need of work, to advise entrepreneurs how to get started, and to help existing local businesses and nonprofits get the most out of the internet.”
(Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg with small business owners in St. Louis. Image: Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg)
Facebook Community Boost will be of particular value to black-owned small businesses. As per research conducted by Facebook in its Economic Impact Report:
Businesses run by African Americans, Latinos, veterans and those with a disability are twice as likely to say that their business was built on Facebook, and one and a half times more likely to say they’ve hired more people since joining the platform.
For business owners or the aspirational entrepreneur, the program will help them turn ideas into an actual business and also assist them in creating and establishing an online presence.
Community Boost will also provide digital and social media training to the general public in the 30 cities, including how to stay safe online.
The free program is part of Facebook’s over $1 billion investment to promoting small businesses and helping people prepare for the digital future.
The 30 cities include St. Louis; Greenville, South Carolina; and Houston. Sylvester Turner, the mayor of Houston, issued this statement about Facebook’s new initiative; “We’re happy to welcome Facebook to Houston to boost our residents’ digital skills and make sure our vibrant community of entrepreneurs and small businesses gets more out of the internet. I’m glad that Facebook recognized that one of the first five cities to benefit from this program should be Houston, the most diverse city in the nation, the largest economic engine of Texas and a proving ground not only for innovation in tech, energy, medicine and space exploration but also for mom-and-pop small businesses that reflect all the cultures of America and the globe.”
All of the details about Facebook Community Boost can be found on the program’s site.