MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Feb. 20, 2018) — FedEx Corp. on Tuesday announced the launch of its sixth annual FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, which recognizes passionate and innovative small businesses from across the country who aspire to take their businesses to the next level. This year, the contest offers a total prize pool of $120,500 to ten U.S. based small businesses, including a credit for print and business services from FedEx Office. Specifically, the awards will include:
- Grand prize: One (1) winner of $25,000, plus $7,500 in FedEx Office print and business services
- Silver prize: One (1) winner of $15,000, plus $5,000 in FedEx Office print and business services
- Bronze prize: Eight (8) winners of $7,500, plus $1,000 in FedEx Office print and business services
“More than 17,000 small businesses have shared their unique stories and dreams of success with us since we launched our first contest in 2012,” said Scott Harkins, senior vice president, Customer Channel Marketing at FedEx. “We’ve learned a lot about the unique challenges small businesses face and it’s exciting to see the many ways our past winners have used their FedEx grants to grow and expand, both here in the U.S and across the globe.”
The 2017 contest attracted candidates from all 50 states and brought in more than 1.4 million votes. 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 $25,000 grant, the sisters were able to expand production, improve their supply chain and inventory management, and scale their impact of empowering veteran employment. And with the $7,500 credit for printing and business services, they were able to produce the marketing materials to support their brand ambassador program, which has a presence in 40 states and four countries.
“Winning the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest was an amazing experience,” said Emily Núñez Cavness, CEO of Sword & Plough. “Not only did it provide us with financial support, which helped us take our business to the next level, it also opened the door for a strong working relationship with FedEx. FedEx understands the challenges small businesses face and their expertise has been an important part of the Sword & Plough journey.”
The 2018 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is open to U.S.-based for-profit small businesses that have less than 99 employees and have been operating for six months or more. To enter, participants must visit fedex.com/grantcontestand enter their contact information, write a short profile about their business and upload four photos of their business or product, including their logo. While not required, participants also have the option of submitting a 90-second “elevator speech” video to supplement their entry and are encouraged to share their participation with their social networks to boost votes.
The contest entry period is open from Feb. 20 to March 28, 2018, with voting to take place from Feb. 28 to April 4, 2018. Following a judging period, winners will be announced on April 24, 2018.
Details on how to enter the contest, as well as the official rules and FAQs can be found at fedex.com/grantcontest.