Facebook Aims to Equip 1 Million Business Owners with Digital Skills
Are you an entrepreneur looking to improve your digital skills and increase your ability to market your business online? Well Facebook says it’s here to help. According to a blog post by Facebook’s Business Education Director Amy Brooks, the company has set a goal to help train 1 million U.S. small business owners and others in various digital skills by 2020.
So how does Facebook plan to meet this goal? First, Brooks announced that the company will expand their Facebook Community Boost training program it first launched last year. Now the program is on track to visit 50 cities by the end of 2018. Additionally the company says it hopes to add a number of local partnerships in order to bring digital educational programs to more cities. For example, Facebook plans to team up with community colleges, having previously announced partnerships with Central New Mexico Community College, Des Moines Areas Community College, and others.
Beyond in-person training, Facebook says it’s also working to grow its e-learning operations. Among these tools is the company’s Blueprint digital marketing eLearning course. Not only is Blueprint current available in 14 languages but has reportedly trained 160,000 small business since debuting just over three years ago. By 2020, Facebook says another 250,000 entrepreneurs will train via the platform.
Speaking on why Facebook felt the need to offer digital skills courses, Brooks points to a recent study that found a growing skilled labor shortage could amount to 85.2 million unfilled jobs by 2030. As a result, Brooks writes, “We are committed to helping reverse the skills gap in America by giving individuals and companies the tools they need to flourish in an increasingly digital economy.” To that point, Facebook is also creating tools for job seekers, such as their Learn with Facebook digital skills course. Described as a “free online training resource to equip people with the skills they need to grow and become drivers of their local economies,” the offering is set to debut this fall.
While some may be skeptical of a company essentially training people in how to spend money on their platform, it would appear that Facebook’s current and upcoming efforts do go beyond that self-serving arrangement. With online and digital skills becoming increasingly essential for both small businesses owners and their employees, it is important that job seekers and entrepreneurs keep up to date in order to remain competitive. On the surface, Facebook’s plan to train 1 million people in the next 18 months sounds like a win-win-win for the company, small businesses, and hopefully for the U.S. economy.