Meta has announced its partnership with HerHustle to launch SheMeansBusiness, a program designed to equip women entrepreneurs with essential digital skills to scale their businesses online. The program aims to train over 3,000 women-owned businesses in Kenya.

The launch follows Meta’s Global State of Small Business Report that revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on female-led businesses in Kenya.

The program will be implemented by HerHustle, an organization that facilitates digital business growth programs for young women. The training will be delivered through instructor led live webinars, short videos and infographics, covering topics like financial goals, financial health, financial services and digital technology. There is also a module on business financial reports, which are critical tools for businesses to access loans.

Over the last five years, SheMeansBusiness has grown into a global program for women entrepreneurs. In Africa, it is being implemented in South Africa, Nigeria, and Senegal, where over 40,000 women-led businesses have been trained. The company recently released Global State of Small Business Report points out that while the business impact of COVID-19 has varied depending on the industry, one group that has been hit particularly hard is women-owned small businesses.

The report indicates that female-led businesses were seven percentage points more likely to close due to the pandemic than male-led ones. In Kenya, the report notes that restrictions put in place to mitigate against COVID-19 have affected economic activities, with women facing greater economic vulnerability without social protection.

Commenting about the program, Meta’s Director of Public Policy in East Africa Mercy Ndegwa said, “At Meta, we recognize that unlocking women’s potential will create a more resilient, inclusive, and equal society. We have introduced the SheMeansBusiness program because digital literacy is a major enabler for business growth and a critical tool for women entrepreneurs in these challenging times. That is why we are determined to help more women access the tools they need to turn their dreams into success stories.”