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How Facebook Is Planning To Boost The Indian Small and Medium Businesses Facebook India has joined hands with venture capital firm SAIF Partners to support early-stage small and medium businesses

By Shreya Ganguly

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The Indian start-up ecosystem has been growing constantly in the last few years. The start-up ecosystem got a major boost after the Modi-led government launched the Startup India programme in 2016. The burgeoning ecosystem has been attracting the attention of several investors and stakeholders. With big tech companies and prominent investors looking to be a part of this ecosystem, social media giant Facebook is also looking for a slice of pie.

In order to support early-stage small and medium businesses (SMB), Facebook India has joined hands with venture capital firm SAIF Partners which counts companies such as MakeMyTrip, BookMyShow,, and Paytm in its portfolio. This partnership comes as a part of Facebook's VC Brand Incubator Program.

"Our vast experience with SMBs tells us that strong digital skills and timely guidance can help them succeed and increase profits quickly. Facebook has consistently delivered business results for SMBs, and through the VC Brand Incubator Program and the latest partnership with SAIF Partners we've deepened our commitment to the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurship in India," said Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Businesses at Facebook India.

Related Story: The Importance of Creating Incubator Programs for Entrepreneurs

What Is VC Brand Incubator Program?

In June, Facebook launched its VC Brand Incubator Program for building the ecosystem for SMB growth in the country by providing young businesses with timely skilling and guidance. For this, the social media giant had also partnered with Sauce.VC and Fireside Ventures and claims to have already skilled, trained, and mentored more than 70 brands at various stages of their growth journey.

According to media reports, Facebook had initially begun working with Mumbai-based VC for this initiative to develop the SME ecosystem in India.

According to the official statement, 24 companies associated with SAIF Partners such as Chaayos, Spinny, Airblack, Pee-buddy, Skoodoo, and The Moms Co, have now become a part of Facebook's VC Brand Incubator Program.

"We believe that programs like the VC Brand Incubator will go a long way in helping early stage consumer-focused companies avoid common mistakes, enabling them to create differentiated brand awareness on digital platforms in the most efficient manner," said Deepak Gaur, Managing Director, SAIF Partners.

Small and Medium Business Market In India

According to a June report by Business Standard, the SME sector accounts for 45per cent of industrial output and 40 per cent of the total exports in India. The sector also generates employment for 60 million people and creates 1.3 million jobs every year.

The report also added that SME sector is one of the key factors behind the increase in urbanization of rural India. However, the SME ecosystem experiences several challenges such as lack of capital, lack of innovation, digital knowledge gap etc.

At a time when the start-up and the small enterprise sector is expected to help India become a $5 trillion economy, initiatives like VC Brand Incubator Program may be a welcome move for the industry players.

Shreya Ganguly

Former Features Writer

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