The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest recognizes passionate and innovative small businesses from across the country who aspire to take their businesses to the next level.

FedEx Supports Small Businesses Through Grant Competition

Winners of the upcoming 5th annual FedEx Small Business Grant Contest will be awarded a cash grant to grow their small businesses, plus up to $7,500 in FedEx print and business services. The total prize pool is $120,500, which will be distributed to 10 U.S. based small businesses. The Grand prize starts at $25,000; silver prize is $15,000; and bronze prize goes to eight winners of $7,500.

To give you an idea of what type of competition you would be facing, in 2017 there were 4,500 applicants and 10 winners. The 2017 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest brought in applicants from all 50 states and attracted more than 1.4 million votes.

The 2017 Grand Prize winner was Sword & Plough, a small business that works with American manufacturers who employ veterans to transform military surplus into fashionable and functional bags and accessories. With the support of the FedEx $25,000 grant, the co-founders (sisters Emily Núñez Cavness and Betsy Núñez) were able to expand production, improve their supply chain and inventory management, and scale their impact of empowering veteran employment. In addition, the $7,500 credit for printing and business services enabled them to produce professional marketing materials to support their brand ambassador program, which has a presence in 40 states and four countries.

According to Emily Núñez Cavness, CEO of Sword & Plough: “Winning the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest was an amazing experience. 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.”

To be eligible for the 2019 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, applicants must be a for-profit small business based in the U.S., have less than 99 employees, and have been operating for six months or more. The application (completed at entails a short profile about your business, uploading photos of your business or product, submitting your logo, and an optional 90-second “elevator speech” video. The contest entry period is typically open from February to end of March. Voting takes place from March to the first week of April. Following a judging period, winners are announced by the end of April.

For contests of this variety that utilize online voting, applicants are strongly encouraged to share their participation on social networks to boost votes. Although corporate grant contests can mean more work for grant-seekers, the winners stand to benefit by even more by gaining

business exposure through the contest’s publicity. And, since competitions like the FedEx Small Business Grant Competition award grants to multiple prize winners, it could be worth a shot.