Earlier today Facebook launched a local initiative aimed at not only celebrating Women’s Month, but also tackling the issue of much-needed digital skills for women entrepreneurs. That initiative is #SheMeansBusiness, with the firm noting that South Africa is the second African country to launch it, having previously done so in Nigeria to great effect.

As for Facebook’s plan for SA, #SheMeansBusiness has outlined a goal of training 4 000 South African women in critical digital skills between now and the end of the year. That 4 000 is also set to include women from all nine provinces of the country, and focus on rural and underdeveloped areas of the country in particular.

Assisting Facebook with this initiative locally is Siyafunda CTC, which has a history of working at a grassroots level when it comes to digital skills development. The organisation explains that its training will take the form of two intensive three-to-four hour sessions over the course of one day.

One session will focus on Facebook digital marketing skills, and will look at how women entrepreneurs can make the most of the platforms that Facebook has in its stable, which not only includes its own social media site, but Instagram and WhatsApp too, all of which are viewed as being effective tools for creatives in particular to engage with potential customers.

The second session will tackle business development skills, with this aspect of entrepreneurship training aiming to offer a more holistic approach to #SheMeansBusiness. Some of the elements that this session will touch on include business screening for growth, basic operations management, digital marketing management, sound financial management and leadership fundamentals.

Along with the training Facebook has also proposed the creation of a network involving all the women entrepreneurs who have been a part of #SheMeansBusiness. This will assist in other aspects of running a successful business that often get overlooked, such as the networking and collaboration with other entrepreneurs, as well as tapping into mentors for assistance and guidance.

The firm has also pledged its commitment to run #SheMeansBusiness locally for the foreseeable future, as well as expand the initiative to other countries on the continent.