Facebook plans to add 20,000 entrepreneurs from 100 cities in India in the next six months as part of its "Boost Your Business" programme to help them scale up their businesses, its top executive said here today. The social network company has tied up with Gandhinagar-based Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) to train people to achieve the target. The initiative was launched today at EDII by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. "Our 'Boost Your Business' initiative was launched in 2015, but with EDII, we plan to go to 20 states and 100 cities in the next six months in its first phase, expanding five times than what we have achieved so far," said Ritesh Mehta, head of programmes, South Asia. Mehta said apart from EDII, Facebook will also continue to take up other initiatives to connect people through Facebook to help them do business. "The programme is designed to equip small and medium businesses with the knowledge, skill and technology to stay innovative and increase markets across globally," he said. Mehta said the programme is part of Facebook's public partnership policy, and aimed at giving back to the community. "They (businesses) see a measurable difference (when connected to Facebook). First, the cost of business goes down.
The service is free (setting up a Facebook page is free, communicating with your customer is free, and reaching new customers is free). Money that you spend on marketing can be spent on other things, like improving your business, scaling your business, hiring more people," he said. "Secondly, it is essentially allowing you to reach a lot more customers. Facebook allows you to reach out to expand nationally and internationally," he added. India has 201 million active people on Facebook, with 95 per cent of them accessing it on the mobile. Globally, over 65 business million SMBs have pages on Facebook, and 57 per cent people on Facebook in India are connected to at least one small business, the company said.