FedEx has awarded a total of US$300,000 to small businesses via its Entrepreneur Fund, which was created in collaboration with Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).
The 30 grant winners are to receive US$10,000 each. All grant applicants receive free access to the Hello Alice platform full of tools and resources, small business owner events, workshops, ‘ask me anything’ sessions and chats. The FedEx Entrepreneur Fund is designed to support veterans and small-business owners with disabilities by providing access to funding, resources and networks to help them succeed.
The fund received more than 12,500 applications, 57% of which were military-connected businesses; entrepreneurs with disabilities made up 40% of the applicants. The majority of small businesses that applied were woman-owned (62%). Furthermore, 65% of applicants were Black-owned small businesses, followed by multi-racial-owned at 10.6% and Hispanic/Latinx-owned at 5.5%. In addition to identifying as a military-connected owner or an entrepreneur with disabilities, all 30 recipients have fewer than 25 employees, made no more than US$7m in annual gross revenue in 2021, and clearly demonstrated how US$10,000 will help them support their business and customers.
Jenny Robertson, senior vice president of integrated marketing and communications at FedEx Services, said, “We are excited and honored to offer this opportunity to veteran entrepreneurs and small-business owners with disabilities. As an enthusiastic advocate for small businesses, FedEx is always looking for new ways to support entrepreneurs in different industries with a range of missions and backgrounds. Collaborations with Hello Alice and GEN allow us to continue to help these small businesses grow and succeed.”
Carolyn Rodz, CEO of Hello Alice, added, “We are proud to work with FedEx and GEN to support these small businesses. As there is a continued strain on small businesses from diverse backgrounds to access capital and resources, we are pleased to play a role in bringing them one step closer to their goals and overcoming these barriers.”