Facebook India on Friday launched ‘Small Business Loans Initiative’ to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India. India is the first country for Facebook where this programme is getting rolled out. It will help small and medium businesses (SMBs) that advertise on Facebook’s platform to get quick access to credit through independent lending partners. The programme is open to businesses registered across 200 towns and cities of India. The goal of the initiative is to make business loans more easily accessible to small entrepreneurs, and reduce the credit gap within India’s MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector, Facebook India Vice-President and MD Ajit Mohan told reporters in a virtual briefing. It’s going to be an arm’s length relationship with reputable and reliable lenders, but within the construct of a programme that has been co-designed with Facebook… Indifi is the first lending partner and the idea is that as we scale, others can follow,” he added. He emphasised that there is no revenue share for Facebook in the programme, and that SMEs will have no obligation to spend the loan proceeds on Facebook. Mohan also noted that all decisions related to the loans – including approval, disbursement and recovery – will be made by Indifi (and other lending partners as they join). He added that Facebook is providing the connection between the lender partner and the SME and adding structure in terms of interest rates.