How FedEx’s Small Business Grant Contest Could Transform Your Business
What could $15,000, $30,000 or even $50,000 do for your small business?
FedEx has launched its seventh annual Small Business Grant Contest and is distributing a collective prize pool of $220,500 – the largest sum since the contest was established in 2012. To date, we have awarded more than $548,000 in grants and prizes to passionate entrepreneurs around the nation.
But that’s not all! In addition to the grants, winners also receive additional dollar amounts to use towards FedEx Office print and business services, as well as packages designed to help entrepreneurs with website optimization, design thinking, social media, and print expertise.
So how has it helped previous winners? Let’s look at the most recent.
The 2016 Grand Prize winner Ginjan Bros.— a small business that develops and brings to market traditional African drinks, is run by two entrepreneurial brothers originally from West Africa. Through their grant and support of FedEx shipping services, Ginjan Bros. was able to ramp up production, both to fill their current orders and produce enough inventory to support expanded distribution. They also put a portion of the cash prize toward securing organic and GMO-free product certifications. Of the contest Mohammed Diallo of Ginjan Bros. said, “Something like this — winning a grant like this — could only happen in America. We are living the American dream right now.”
The 2017 Grand Prize winner Sword & Plough — a small business that works with American manufacturers who employ veterans to transform military surplus into fashionable and functional bags and accessories — was co-founded by sisters Emily Núñez Cavness and Betsy Núñez. With the grant monies, the sisters were able to expand production, improve their supply chain and inventory management, and scale their impact of empowering veteran employment. They were also able to produce the marketing materials to support their brand ambassador program, which has a presence in 40 states and four countries.
Last year’s winner Rumi Spice, a small Chicago-based business that sources and brings to market premier saffron from the fields of Afghanistan, was founded by former Army officer Keith Alaniz and two friends who, while serving in the war-torn country, realized the need to provide economic alternatives to opium farming for the Afghan people. In the year since they took home the grand prize in the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, Rumi Spice has used their winnings to greatly improve their supply chain logistics, as they transport the saffron out of Afghanistan and bring it to Chicago where it is then packaged and sent to Michelin star restaurants and consumers all over the US.
This could be you. There’s more money, and much more at stake. How will you make your mark?
We are proud to offer our top ten winners so much more than just the funds to help them grow their businesses. This year, our winners will receive much needed expertise and advice on some of the most fundamental and critical aspects of building a viable and sustainable business and we look forward to being a part of taking their business to the next level.
So what are you waiting for? FedEx is waiting for you. Apply Today.
Scott P. Harkins, Senior Vice President, Customer Channel Marketing at FedEx