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Poor Tech Infra Holding Indian Entrepreneurs Back: Facebook

The social networking giant believes that for start-ups to flourish in India, entrepreneurs in smaller towns must get access to metro-level infrastructure and learning from established people and companies, who are willing to mentor and give back to the community

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Four out of every five women from metros as well as smaller towns in India are eager to start their own businesses and become entrepreneurs, but lack of networks and accessible technological infrastructure are holding them back in their tracks, a top Facebook official has stressed.

Facebook in 2017 introduced a programme for women-founded companies — SheLeads Tech — to support them with access to community, tools, mentorship and resources to succeed in building a business in technology.

The programme has now expanded to 87 cities in the country with 596 women led tech start-ups across agritech, edutech, gaming and other verticals in just two years since its launch.

“If we go back three years, the number of women founded startups in the ecosystem were about nine per cent and today it has grown to 14 per cent.

“Even the money that was raised by women entrepreneurs and their start-ups has increased from 3.5 per cent to 5.4 per cent now,” Satyajeet Singh, Head of Platform Partnerships, South Asia, Facebook told IANS.

India is the third largest start-up market globally and with its start-up initiatives like SheLeads Tech, Code for the Next Billion, India Innovation Hub and more, Facebook has come to discover that the start-up phenomenon is rapidly expanding to smaller cities.

“We have start-ups coming from Dehradun, Hubli, Nasik and other smaller cities. The widespread start-ups phenomenon is very much present in tier two and three towns,” Singh said.

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FILE – A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration, Aug. 3, 2018. VOA

Supported by 30 women mentors, Facebook’s SheLeads Tech initiative aims to provide a platform to women entrepreneurs across all tech-related sectors like agritech, healthtech, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), gaming, beauty, sanitation, water harvesting and more.

The education technology sector has especially seen a massive inclination from Indian women entrepreneurs, according to Facebook.

“Facebook’s SheLeads Tech is a very close community that has helped me stay connected with what all is happening in the start-up world across the country,” said Sai Gole, Co-founder of Pune-based start-up, LeanAgri, that designs tech solutions for unorganised sectors and underserved communities like farmers in India.

“Facebook’s training and mentoring sessions have helped us understand consumer psychology and ways to target campaigns in the market.”

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The social networking giant believes that for start-ups to flourish in India, entrepreneurs in smaller towns must get access to metro-level infrastructure and learning from established people and companies, who are willing to mentor and give back to the community.

Encouraged by the positive response that the social networking giant has received through its start-up boosting initiatives in India, the company now plans to double its efforts in helping students in technology related fields to escalate the country’s businesses and economy.

“We not only have to invest in start-ups today, we also have to start investing in start-ups for tomorrow, like tech students. We have to make sure that we are inspiring them to start up and create more jobs rather than looking for one,” Singh added. (IANS)

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Facebook Apps Helped EU Firms Generate 208 bn Euros in Sales

The study also found that female-founded businesses, in particular, credit social media with helping them to start and grow their businesses

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

Facebook apps have helped businesses in the European Union (EU) generate sales corresponding to an estimated 208 billion euros last year – resulting in nearly 3.1 million jobs, the social networking giant said in a new report.

According to Facebook, around 25 million businesses in the European Union, mostly small businesses, are using its services each month.

“Businesses said that using Facebook apps helped them generate an estimated 98 billion euros in exports last year. Of these exports, 58 billion euros are sales within the EU and 40 billion euros are sales to the rest of the world,” Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice-President for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Facebook, said on Monday.

To understand the true extent of Facebook’s impact on the European economy, the company commissioned a study by Copenhagen Economics, one of the leading economic firms in Europe. The study surveyed over 7,700 businesses across all industries and sizes in 15 countries.

“This shows the critical role social media plays in driving sales for businesses across Europe. This is particularly true for small and medium sized businesses,” Mendelsohn added.

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Six in 10 companies said Facebook apps are important in lowering marketing costs and a similar number said Facebook apps are important in improving customer service.

“Six in 10 businesses using Facebook apps report them as helpful to enter markets, and 7 in 10 businesses using Facebook apps are exporting to other countries compared to 5 in 10 non-users,” the report mentioned.

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The study also found that female-founded businesses, in particular, credit social media with helping them to start and grow their businesses.

“Fifty-eight per cent of female-founded businesses surveyed said that Facebook apps are important for enabling them to start businesses, while 65 per cent said it helped grow their revenue,” said the report. (IANS)