By Florence Onuegbu
Facebook on Wednesday constituted its Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Council, the first on the African Continent.
During the inauguration in Lagos, Ms Abi Williams, Facebook’s SMB Sales Manager, EMEA, said that the council would be part of Facebook’s ongoing commitment to supporting SMB throughout Africa.
Williams said that the council would bring together Facebook Africa’s SMEs team and Nigerian business owners from a range of industries in a partnership designed to provide better digital tools for business and customer growth.
She said that the Nigerian SME Council was made up of 15 vibrant start-ups and established business owners from different sectors and locations across Nigeria.
According to her, each business will bring its wealth of unique experience in understanding and embracing digital and mobile strategies.
“The council will bring in experience on how to reach Nigerian customers, making them ideally positioned to offer Support to other companies who needed it.
“Small businesses form the backbone of most of the thriving economies in the world, driving sustainable growth and creating jobs, and those in Nigeria are no different.
“Facebook is strategically positioned to help SMEs grow their businesses and with a vibrant SME sector, Nigeria was a natural choice in launching our very first SME Council on the African continent.
“With 35 million people in other countries connected to a Nigerian business on Facebook, the global market has never been closer for Nigerian SMEs,” she said.
Williams said that the Nigerian SME Council had joined 10 other councils across the globe which included North America, Ireland, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Poland, India and Brazil.
She said that the council would meet a minimum of twice a year with Facebook and Instagram teams to discuss successes and challenges, business ideas and solution.
Williams said that with the council, Facebook wanted to make local businesses to also be global businesses.
She said that there were equal field for everyone online, hence SMEs should tap into the mobile opportunities.
According to her, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is passionate to invest in SMEs because of their importance to job creation and impact on the economy.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the start-ups and SMEs in the council include Paylater, Digitxplus, Wakanow, Afro Foods and Spice Nigeria, The Legit and Way Out.
Others are Easyshop Easycook, Hush’ D, One Stop Baby Shop Nigeria, Mamalette, Bombay to Beirut, GIGM.com, Naphtali Party Rentals, Looking and STM Magical Creations Ltd. (NAN)