http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/facebook-s-new-program-helps-you-boost-your-digital-skills/article/507327

Facebook's new program helps you boost your digital skills

Posted Nov 10, 2017 by James Walker
Facebook's announced a new community scheme aimed to help small businesses improve their digital skills. The company will provide training and resources so businesses can access modern technologies and keep up with the pace of technological development.
Facebook says about 126 million Americans may have seen Russian posts on U.S. politics.
Facebook says about 126 million Americans may have seen Russian posts on U.S. politics.
Pexels / Kaboompics // Karolina
Announced in a news post this week, Facebook said Community Boost will give businesses the skills to "compete in the new economy." The project will offer several different services focused around employment, digital transformation and effective use of modern technology. It's evolved from previous Facebook schemes to help businesses make the most of the Internet.
Community Boost is designed to help everyone who wants to find a job, start a business or grow their digital footprint. It will provide social media training to jobseekers, help entrepreneurs use technology to implement their ideas and show business owners how concepts like the cloud and IoT can unlock new opportunities. There'll also be guidance on digital literacy fundamentals such as online safety and privacy available to everyone in the community.
The Community Boost project will travel around the U.S., offering courses and meetings in local communities. Facebook will initially visit 30 cities during 2018, including Houston, St. Louis, Albuquerque, Des Moines and Greenville, South Carolina. The company said the locations were picked based on feedback from businesses who want to improve the digital training opportunities in their community.
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"Facebook Community Boost was developed based on requests from the small business community that Facebook spend more time in their cities and provide more training," said Facebook. "We're just getting started, and are pleased to partner with community leaders to learn where we can help."
Facebook presented evidence that shows how digital technology can help businesses to grow. It said 80 percent of U.S. SMBs believe Facebook helps them connect to people in their community, with 56 percent saying it has increased their sales. However, many firms feel like they're unable to stay ahead of technology and are missing out on digital opportunities due to a lack of expertise.
The announcement of Community Boost comes a day after a Microsoft-sponsored study found small businesses are getting frustrated at their inability to use technology effectively. Initiatives such as this could help businesses to secure future growth as they move to the digital economy. It'll also provide a focal point for digital education efforts in local communities, increasing digital literacy among businesses and their customers.