FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
details & FAQs

General

The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is a grant program by FedEx to award twelve (12) U.S.-based small businesses with grants up to $50,000 and up to $7,500 in FedEx Office® print and business services. Refer to the contest’s Official Rules for contest details. 

The entry period for the 2021 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is February 16, 2021–March 9, 2021. 

The voting period is March 10, 2021–March 24, 2021. Top 100 Finalists will be announced March 31, 2021. Top 12 winners will be announced May 10, 2021. Deadlines for each period are 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time.

Enter contest

There will be a total of twelve (12) winners:

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

Restrictions apply to the FedEx Office print and business services prizes.

Website Optimization or Website Audit Prize Package:

Grand Prize: Custom in-depth Technical SEO Website Audit detailing all SEO (search engine optimization) deficiencies and detailed recommendations for improvements, valued between $2,500–$5,000 depending on number of website pages; audit takes approximately 30–45 days. Prize expires December 31, 2021. 

2nd Place: One (1) Website Conversion Optimization Audit detailing potential conversion issues and recommended enhancements to improve conversion, valued between $1,500–$2,000 depending on number of website pages; audit can take up to 30 days to complete. Prize expires December 31, 2021. 

3rd Place: One (1) Website Audit with high-level review and recommendations for enhancements to SEO, valued at $50; audit can take up to 14 days to complete. Prize expires December 31, 2021.

 

Invitation to Virtual Small Business Grant Winner Forum:

All Winners: Invitation to join virtual forum to celebrate grant winners and includes meeting high-level FedEx executives across Marketing, Sales, Innovation and more to share small business insights and needs across the FedEx organization.

 

Print Expert Consultation Prize Package:

All Winners: One (1) 30-minute consultation with a dedicated FedEx Office representative to discuss opportunities for usage of FedEx Office prize towards print and business services including custom-branded packaging at FedEx Office. Consultation and print services prize credit available until May 31, 2022. 

 

My FedEx Rewards Voucher:

All Winners: Each winning business will receive one (1) $300 voucher redeemable through My FedEx Rewards limited catalog. Voucher expires August 10, 2021.

 

Dictionary of International Trade and Webinar:


All Winners: Each winning business will receive a complimentary copy of the Dictionary of International Trade, valued at $45, and access to attend one international shipping webinar, valued at $55.

a. Financial consultation

b. Attendance at a Small Business National Conference and access to up to 3 related webinars

c. Mentor matching

Eligibility requirements

Any eligible for-profit small business with a FedEx 9-digit shipping account number; that has been in continuous operation selling a product in market for at least six (6) months as of February 16, 2021; has a shipping need; and has 99 or fewer employees is eligible to enter the contest. Solo owners are considered employees. Please refer to the eligibility section of the Contest Rules for more details.

Non-profits are not eligible to enter the contest. Please refer to the eligibility section of the Contest Rules for more information.

Yes, online businesses are eligible to enter the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest.

No, these business types are not eligible to enter the contest. Examples of direct seller businesses are Mary Kay, Rodan and Fields, Doterra, BeautyCounter, Young Living, Color Street, etc. Examples of franchised businesses are any businesses where you are not the creator of the brand (McDonald’s, Budget Blinds, etc.).

No, any directly competitive shipping or printing companies are not eligible.

No, businesses with an owner or investor who was an owner or investor of a past FedEx Small Business Grant Contest winner are not eligible to enter.

Yes, finalists are eligible to enter again as long as they were not previously selected as a winner.

No, members of the FedEx Entrepreneur Advisory Board, past or present, are not eligible to enter the contest.

How to enter

To enter the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, go to fedex.com/grantcontest and follow the instructions from the “Enter Now” link.

Yes, a 9-digit FedEx shipping account number is required to enter the contest.

No, you do not need to ship with FedEx but you should have a shipping need in your business to enter the contest.

The following things will be necessary to enter the contest and create a contest profile:

  • A FedEx 9-digit shipping account number.
  • A shipping need for your business.
  • Business name, address, contact name, contact email and phone number.
  • A website or place where you sell your products or services. Marketplaces and social are eligible selling places.
  • Provide responses to the following:
    • Answers to general shipping and printing questions.   
    • Tell us about your business: What you provide, why you started, how you stand out among competition and any associated passion causes. (1,000 character limit including spaces) 
    • How would you use the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest money to enhance your business? (1,000 character limit including spaces) 
  • Up to four images of your business or product that best represent your business. Each photo should not exceed 7MB each and must be in horizontal layout (wider than it is tall) and in one of the following photo formats: .jpg, .png, .gif.
  • While not required, you may also upload a short YouTube video with your “elevator pitch” about your business; simply upload your video to YouTube and input your link into the entry form. *Note, the video must be publicly available on YouTube to be viewable for the contest.

 

Recommendations: 

  • It is recommended that you create your responses in advance in a format that allows you to take your time creating it.
  • Supported browsers include the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox and IE8 and above.

No, you will need to complete your entry at the time you start it. We do not offer a login option to complete later. You will be able to edit your information before you submit it during the entry process. 

The deadline to enter the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is March 9, 2021 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET.

Upon completion of your entry, you should receive the “Thank you for your entry” on your screen. You’ll also receive a confirmation email of your contest entry (be sure to check your spam folder in case it accidentally routes there). You can also find your contest profile by searching for your business by name or location in the Entries Gallery.

Grant contest voting

Entrants are encouraged to get votes from their fans during the voting period. Votes are one way to get noticed by the judges. The 700 entrants receiving the highest number of votes during the voting period will be used to select the Top 100 Finalists.

The voting period is March 10, 2021 – March 24, 2021.  

Anyone who is 18 years or older with a valid email address can vote for any business in the contest at fedex.com/grantcontest, select “Vote Now” and then “Entries Gallery.” Search for a business by name or location and click on the “vote” button on an entrant’s profile. Voters will be required to use their email address and properly answer the Captcha question to cast a vote. Voting is limited to one per person per 24-hour period. Votes received from any person using multiple email addresses in excess of the stated number during the stated timeframe will be void and will not be counted. Voters can share their vote via social media as well from the contest entrant’s profile.

No, the number of votes any entrant receives will not be shown publicly.

No, there is not a specific number of votes that should be received. 

Anyone with a valid email address can vote for any business in the contest regardless of whether they are in the business’s local community. See answer to question 2 above for more details.

These are a few easy ways: 

  • Share your contest profile through social media and via email and they will be directed to the contest at fedex.com/grantcontest and can search for your business via the “vote” button and Entries Gallery. The “vote” button will be displayed on your specific contest profile.
  • Find a business in the Entries Gallery at fedex.com/grantcontest by clicking on “vote now” and searching for a business name or by location, click on entrant profile, click on Vote Now, enter email address and properly answer the Captcha question.

Captcha is a method used to provide an additional level of security to prevent fraudulent voting and enforce the rule of one vote per person per 24-hour period.

Businesses in the contest can be viewed in the Entries Gallery and searching by business name or state location.

Selecting Finalists and Winners

The Top 100 Finalists will be selected from a pool of the 700 entrants receiving the highest number of votes during the Voting Period. Note, there is not a minimum number of votes needed. A selection committee within FedEx will use the following elements to choose finalists: 

  • Clear, compelling and engaging essay answers/video
  • Social presence to develop your brand voice, including use of visuals, cohesiveness, humor, engagement, uniqueness
  • Website ease of navigation, ease of product ordering (if applicable)
  • Uniqueness or innovative
  • Sustainability or environmentally friendly component
  • Positive impact on community or community involvement
  • How well the entrant’s brand aligns with the FedEx brand
  • Review of social media sites including all posts and/or images
  • Whether the small-business owner is prepared to be a small-business ambassador or mentor to other small businesses

Those selected as Top 100 Finalists will be notified via email from USgrantcontest@fedex.com on March 31, 2021, requesting a video response to the question provided in the email. The video will be due by 12 pm ET (Noon ET) on April 6, 2021. Finalists not submitting a video by the cut off time will not be considered for further evaluation. This video along with the entrant’s original submission will be used to determine the 12 winners. 
 
Finalists may also be requested to submit information for a background check to remain in consideration for winner selection.

A selection committee within FedEx will use the following elements, among others, to choose winners:

  • Clear, compelling and engaging essay answers/video in original contest entry
  • Top 100 Finalist video submission
  • Social presence to develop your brand voice, including use of visuals, cohesiveness, humor, engagement, uniqueness
  • Website ease of navigation, ease of product ordering (if applicable)
  • Uniqueness or innovative product or service offering
  • Sustainability or environmentally friendly component
  • Positive impact on community or community connections
  • How well the entrant’s brand aligns with the FedEx brand
  • Whether the small-business owner is prepared to be a small-business ambassador or mentor to other small businesses
  • Review of social media sites including all posts and/or images

One winner will be selected by the FedEx Entrepreneur Advisory Board (a group of small business owners) as the Entrepreneur Choice Award using the same criteria identified above. The Entrepreneur Choice Award will be one of the ten 3rd Place grants awarded. 
 

One of the twelve (12) winners that is also a veteran owned business will receive an added distinction as the Veteran Owned Business Award Honor in addition to their awarded prize level.

The Top 100 Finalists will be announced on March 31, 2021. The final twelve (12) winners will be publicly announced on May 10, 2021.

Grant winners will be notified by phone and/or by email using the contact information provided at entry on or before May 10, 2021. Winners will be publicly announced on May 10, 2021. Winners may not communicate their winner status in any manner until FedEx has publicly announced the winners. Winners may not issue their own press release without prior approval from FedEx. Winners may also be announced on the FedEx Small Business Center website, in FedEx social media channels and in a FedEx media release.


I have a question/issue not answered in the FAQ topic areas. Who can I contact?

You may send an email to USGrantContest@fedex.com and someone will get back to you within 2 business days. Answers to most questions can be found in these FAQs and in the Contest Rules


2021 small business grant  contest logo