Facebook announced earlier this week that they are investing a $100 million commitment to a program that will support 30,000 small businesses owned by women and minorities and buying out their outstanding invoices.
By paying out these invoices, the Facebook Invoice Fast Track program can give money back to small businesses that would have otherwise waited weeks and even months to get paid by their customers.
The program is part of Facebook’s latest effort to cultivate better relationships and long-term loyalty among small businesses.
Many of the businesses on Facebook rely on the network to promote targeted ads for specific niche demographics who may be interested in their services.
Businesses are allowed to submit invoices of a minimum of $1,000, and if and when Facebook accepts, they will buy the invoice from the small business to get them paid within a few days. Customers can then purchase from the outstanding invoices under the same agreements they had with the small business.
Rich Rao, Facebook’s vice president of small business, said, “We just heard first-hand the financial hardships that these suppliers were facing, and it was created really quickly and brought up as an idea and pitched to our CFO to say, ‘Hey, would we be able to help our suppliers with this?’”
“It was a very small pilot, but we did see that be very successful,” he added.
Organizations eligible to apply for the program are any U.S. businesses owned by women and minorities and members of supplier organizations who serve underrepresented groups.
Lisa Dunnigan, the co-founder of The Wright Stuff Chics, which creates and sells merchandise for teachers to purchase at the Teach Your Heart Out teachers conference, is amongst the small business owners who have already been a part of the program.
“This program has been a lifesaver for our company,” said Dunnigan.
Businesses interested will officially be able to start applying for the program on October 1.