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Matthieu Laporte (Facebook) : "T'would be a good idea for VSE-SMEs to get digital training."

Facebook launched a subsidy program for very small businesses and SMEs running from September 28, 2020 to October 8, 2020. Matthieu Laporte, director of VSE-SME activities for Facebook France, explains the intentions of the Gafam's blue square regarding tricolor companies.

What is at the heart of this grant program launched by Facebook?The crisis has wrought and continues to wreak havoc on the economic fabric. A study conducted by the OECD, in partnership with the World Bank, reveals that 42% of companies anticipate cash flow problems in the coming months. In response, Facebook has launched a worldwide subsidy program. It amounted to 100 million dollars for 30,000 SMEs in 30 countries and France being one of the beneficiaries. More than 2 million euros have been alloted to VSE-SMEs in Paris and the Ile de France region.

For several years now, Facebook has been working with French VSE-SMEs in their development and particularly in helping them dive into digitization. Today, 180 million companies worldwide use our tools. In France, that's more than half of all companies.

In addition, we have noted that France is slightly lagging behind when it comes to digitalization, but this seems to be breaching this gap with the current crisis. It is our role to support and help them through this process, however crucial it may be.

Can you define the added value for a professional to be present on social networks?

The arrival of Facebook and Instagram has opened up the possibility for companies of all sizes to capture an audience well beyond their city or neighborhood. Facebook has 29 million daily users in France (June 2020) and 39 million monthly users.

This represents an opportunity for any company to create a portal to a diverse population and thus expand its reach and influence. It also makes it possible to sell beyond French borders, as Facebook has several billion users worldwide.

What are the next steps in the BtoB dynamic developed by Facebook?

The idea of Facebook is to launch training programs dedicated to VSE-SMEs so that they can get free training in the digital field.

By helping companies gain visibility, we bring them closer to their customers. Our goal is to reach the largest number of people. We want to help the ecosystem to be trained, because it is of crucial importance. The next generations of entrepreneurs will have understood everything digital and will be able to digitize themselves more easily. For us, there is a direct link between digitalization and job creation. We therefore believe that we can contribute to the economic effort with our platforms and our training courses. Some programs, will definitely evolve, since a lot more will follow.

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