Empowering Small Businesses: Meta’s New Venture with ONDC

New Delhi: In a significant move to empower small businesses, technology giant Meta has joined forces with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a government-backed e-commerce network. This partnership marks a strategic initiative to upskill small businesses and leverage Meta’s expertise in business and technical solutions, with a specific focus on enhancing conversational experiences between buyers and sellers on WhatsApp.

Upskilling Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises

One of the central elements of this collaboration is the Meta Small Business Academy, which aims to digitally train 500,000 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) over the next two years. This initiative aligns with Meta’s broader commitment to upskill 10 million small businesses across India. The academy will offer certification programs in digital marketing skills, essential for business growth on Meta platforms. This move is seen as a significant step towards democratizing digital commerce and equipping businesses with the skills needed to thrive in the digital marketplace.

Enhancing Digital Commerce

The partnership’s primary goal is to educate and enable small businesses to establish smooth conversational interactions on WhatsApp, utilizing Meta’s array of business and technical tools. ONDC will aid these businesses in transforming into seller apps, thus integrating them into the ONDC network. This integration is expected to foster a more inclusive and accessible digital commerce environment.

Strategic Collaborations and Digital Inclusivity

Sandhya Devanathan, Vice President at Meta in India, highlighted the rapid digital evolution in India and the need for collaborations to assist millions of small businesses in establishing a robust digital presence. The partnership is seen as a key contributor to the government’s vision for Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and is aligned with Meta’s ongoing commitment to promoting digital inclusivity, particularly among MSMEs.

Leveraging WhatsApp for Business Growth

The collaboration also ties into Meta’s earlier ‘WhatsApp Se Vyapaar’ programme, aimed at upskilling 10 million traders across India in using the WhatsApp Business app. With over 200 million users of the WhatsApp Business app globally and a significant user base in India, this initiative is poised to create new opportunities for businesses to engage with a vast customer base.


This partnership between Meta and ONDC is a testament to the growing importance of digital skills and infrastructure in the small business sector. By leveraging the strengths of both organizations, this initiative is expected to create a more inclusive and accessible digital ecosystem for small businesses, ultimately contributing to their growth and success in the ever-evolving digital economy.



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