Imagine what a $25,000 FedEx grant could do for your small business, and then get busy. FedEx is accepting entries for its 2018 Small Business Grant Contest, which rewards passionate and innovative small businesses across the U.S., until March 28, 2018.
“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 of FedEx Customer Channel Marketing.
Last year’s grand prize winner Sword & Plough turns military surplus into trendy bags and accessories while providing jobs for veterans. The cofounders and sisters Emily Núñez Cavness and Betsy Núñez used the $25,000 to expand production and improve supply chain and inventory management.
“This company, and the visionary entrepreneurs behind it, represent just how important small businesses are, not only to the U.S. economy, but to society as a whole,” said Bonnie Voldeng, director of Go-to-Market and Content Strategy at FedEx.
“Sword & Plough’s ‘repurpose with a purpose’ model positively impacts our military veterans, our environment, and promotes greater understanding between the military and civilian world.”
There are 10 chances to win:
- Grand prize: $25,000 and $7,500 in FedEx Office credit
- Silver prize: $15,000 and $5,000 in FedEx Office credit
- 8 bronze prizes: $7,500 and $1,000 FedEx Office credit
Entering the contest is a simple four-step process, unlike typical grants. Grant contest winner Manvee Vaid, founder of Terra Klay, completed her entry while sitting on the sidelines at a swim meet. She won $7,500 for her fair-trade, artisan-crafted pottery business.
Contest participants must submit a short company profile along with several photos of their business or product and their logo. An optional step is to upload a 90-second “elevator speech” video. Then it’s time to share your entry on social media and let customers, friends, and family know so they can vote for your business.
“The FedEx contest really helped us increase awareness, and build a community,” said Vaid. “I had so many people messaging that they were voting for Terra Klay.”
However, votes from the public are only one of the ways to make it to the winners’ circle. Last year’s winner Sword & Plough entered the contest just days before the deadline.
Check out the 2017 winners and get inspired to enter.
The FedEx contest is open to for-profit businesses that are based in the U.S., have less than 99 employees, and have been operating for at least six months. The contest entries are due by March 28, 2018, with voting until April 4, 2018. Following a judging period, FedEx will announce the winners on April 24, 2018.