Facebook launched a new initiative Tuesday to offer entrepreneurial and technology skills to small businesses in Sao Paulo's biggest slum, a trial program eyeing Brazil's huge and increasingly lucrative favelas.
Under the program, computer use and classes will be offered to entrepreneurs in the poorer slum district of Heliopolis to help them reach more consumers.
The training program, dubbed "Facebook in the community," puts the company inside a largely uncharted social media market.
"This is a pioneering project, an innovation lab with 15 computers to deliver knowledge and training to the community and demonstrate how a page can be useful for a small firm," said Patrick Hruby from Facebook in Latin America.
The initiative, intended as a pilot for other deprived communities on the outskirts of Brazil's business hub, also offers training in management skills, computing and marketing.
Brazil, with a population of around 200 million, boasts one of the world's biggest and most media savvy online communities.
According to official figures, the country is already one of the world's top six information technology and communications markets.