FedEx has launched its second nationwide small business grant contest which will award a total of $50,000 to 10 deserving U.S. small businesses. The grand prize winner will receive a $25,000 grant, four first place winners will each receive $5,000 and five second place winners will each receive $1,000.
Small businesses—for the contest, those having fewer than 100 employees—will compete for the grants by completing a profile to be voted on by Facebook users. The contest is designed for participants to promote their profiles among their own customers and fan bases throughout their social media networks to generate votes for their respective businesses. The number of votes a small business receives will boost its visibility in the contest and is one factor FedEx will consider when determining the winners.
The grant contest registration is now open at http://fedex.com/grantcontest and will remain open until 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 9. To register, participants must upload their company logo with three photos that reflect their business, enter their contact information and tell FedEx about their business and how they would utilize the grant to enhance their business.
All accepted entries will be posted to the contest website.
Voting will begin at 12 a.m. ET on Jan. 16 at http://fedex.com/grantcontest and close at 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 23. On Feb. 26, FedEx will announce the top 100 finalists chosen to move on in the contest. These finalists will be determined by the number of votes they receive and their contest profile.
The top 100 finalists will then be asked to answer one of three questions in an essay format. FedEx will review the essays and select the winners based on their essay submission, contest profile and number of votes they receive from Facebook users. The top 10 small businesses—including the grand prize winner—will be announced on March 24.
“Small businesses represent more than 99 percent of all employer firms. They drive the global economy and are an absolute vital part of the success of larger companies such as FedEx,” said Raj Subramaniam, executive vice president of Global Marketing at FedEx Services. “We are happy to show our support of the small business community by providing grants to help enable their success.”
Doing Good with Darn Good Yarn
The winner of last year’s Small Business Grant Competition was Darn Good Yarn, a small business based in Sebec, Maine and founded by Nicole Snow in 2008.
“The last year has been amazing for my business,” said Nicole Snow, owner and founder of Darn Good Yarn. “The $25,000 grant from FedEx has allowed me to hire more women in Nepal and India, which gives them the means to help support their families while providing me with great product to sell.”
Darn Good Yarn sells yarn made from recycled, Earth-friendly materials, much of it created from remnants of the production of silk saris. These materials are handspun and dyed by women’s groups in Northern India and Nepal, who are provided with a marketplace for their products, as well as much-needed wages for their families. All yarns are fairly traded and produced with child-free labor.