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FedEx launched its ninth annual Small Business Grant Contest today. The contest offers grants and services to 12 U.S.- based small businesses, distributing a collective prize pool of more than $250,000. Winners also receive FedEx Office print and business services credit to help support their small business. In addition, they join a community of small business owners who share peer insights.

The 2021 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest prize packages include:

  • Grand prize: One (1) winner of $50,000, plus $7,500 in FedEx Office print and business services.
  • 2nd Place: One (1) winner of $30,000, plus $5,000 in FedEx Office print and business services.
  • 3rd Place: Ten (10) winners of $15,000, plus $1,000 in FedEx Office print and business services.

New this year, all 100 finalists will receive access to one-on-one financial coaching provided by Accion Opportunity Fund, a nonprofit small business lender, to help them overcome business challenges they are facing and access additional resources to support their success.

They will also receive attendance to the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City’s National Conference, as well as access to up to three webinars on the ICIC platform, and mentor matching with SCORE, a non-profit providing education and mentorship to entrepreneurs.

For the second year in a row, one of the winners will be recognized with the “Veteran-Owned Business Award Winner” as part of the company’s commitment to support U.S. military veterans. As in past years, one of the 3rd Place prize winners will receive the “Entrepreneur Choice Award Winner,” a distinction bestowed by the FedEx Entrepreneur Advisory Board, which is comprised of former grant winners and small business owners from around the country.

“Running a small business isn’t easy, and this year, it’s been tougher than ever, which is why FedEx continues to champion and support these entrepreneurs. Whether they use the money to build a better website or to buy new equipment, we want to help them write the next chapter of their story. When it comes to helping small businesses succeed, we always want to be part of that story.”

Jenny Robertson, senior vice president Integrated Marketing and Communications at FedEx

2020 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest Garnered Over 720,000 Votes

The 2020 contest garnered more than 720,000 votes and attracted more than 4,100 candidates from across the United States. Access Trax, a California-based company that manufactures a foldable pathway that allows people with physical disabilities to access outdoor terrain, took home last year’s grand prize.

In the year since winning the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, the owners of Access Trax used their winnings to kickstart their online marketing strategy to better reach consumers. “The grant funds were instrumental in breathing life into Access Trax, not only as a startup but as a small business at the start of the economic crisis due to the pandemic,” said Kelly Twichel, Access Trax owner.

Over the past eight years, 42,000 businesses have entered the contest in the United States alone. The contest has now grown from one country to 7 countries and the grant pool for the U.S. contest has grown from $50,000 to more than $250,000 in total prizes.

How to Enter Your Small Business

The 2021 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is open to U.S.-based for-profit small businesses that have 1-99 employees, have been operating for six months or more as of February 16, 2021, and have a shipping need.

To enter, participants must visit www.fedex.com/grantcontest and enter their business information (including their FedEx shipping account number), write a short profile about their business and upload up to four photos of their business or product, including their logo. While not required, participants also have the option of submitting a short “elevator pitch” video to supplement their entry.

The contest entry period is open from February 16 to March 9, 2021, with public voting to take place from March 10 – March 24, 2021, to help narrow down the applicant pool from which the Top 100 will be chosen. Following a judging period, winners will be announced May 10, 2021, at www.fedex.com/grantcontest.

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