Use of digital tools critical to SME operations during pandemic, says Meta exec

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As an integral part of their operations, 74% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have used digital tools to overcome the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, a said a Meta official. .
In a speech at the recent launch of the “Meta Boost” program in Qatar, Meta’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Fares Akkad, said: “Since the start of the pandemic, we have been leading the largest small business surveys in the world.”
According to Akkad, Meta has used the data to better understand the changing needs of SMEs, particularly around online tools and the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“We released our latest State of Small Business report, which shows that digital tools remain essential to SMB operations…81% of SMBs in this most recent global sample indicated that they had used digital tools over the past month, including 74% of SMBs in the Mena region. . And 31% of global SMBs said more than half of their sales took place online, including 26% of Mena respondents,” Akkad said. .
Akkad said helping SMBs thrive and grow is a top priority for Meta, which is particularly focused on helping SMBs transition online. In partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), Meta has launched “Meta Boost”, a global program designed to support and accelerate the digitalization of SMEs in Qatar.
“For the first time in Qatar, we will launch a Meta SMB hub dedicated to the business community in Qatar. The hub will feature a series of training webinars and resources to learn more about the essentials of digital marketing and sales. It will also feature local case studies and success stories to spur inspiration.
“Meta’s Blueprint Bootcamp will feature a series of trainer-led live webinars for digitally-leaned SMBs to build their online presence and accelerate their business growth. It will be a great opportunity for SMEs in Qatar to hang out and connect with Meta experts,” Akkad emphasized.
In an earlier statement, the ministry said MCIT and Meta have entered into a partnership to support MCIT’s vision of transforming Qatar into a digital-based knowledge economy.
As part of this partnership, the ministry will explore collaboration opportunities with Meta covering key areas such as community upskilling, SME digitization and economic support. The ministry strives to foster a human-centered vision for the digital economy and society, making digital transformation a fully inclusive and transformative process for all businesses, from small to large enterprises.
Akkad also said that Meta’s work to support SMEs focuses on three areas: free tools, training, and financial and marketing support. “Meta has a number of tools on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to help businesses build an online presence and connect with customers for free,” he pointed out.
He added, “Meta offers hundreds of free digital training and resources to help SMBs establish their presence and grow on our platforms…at the start of the pandemic, Meta provided cash grants and advertising credits to SMEs to help them keep the lights on. All of this and more is at the heart of our company principle of promoting economic opportunity and helps to exemplify our commitment to SMEs and their success. »

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