FedEx is conducting a small business grant contest. The contest offers grants to 10 small businesses, with a collective prize pool of $100,000. One Grand Prize winner of $25,000, one $15,000 winner, and eight $7,500 prizes will be awarded. The 2016 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is open to U.S.-based for-profit small businesses that have less than 50 employees and have been operating for six months or more. To enter, participants must visit www.fedex.com/grantcontest and enter their contact information, write a short profile about their business and upload four photos of their business or product, including their logo. While not required, participants also have the option of submitting a 60-second “elevator speech” video to supplement their entry.
The contest entry period is open from May 3 to May 30, 2016, with voting to take place from May 17 to June 13, 2016. Following a judging period, winners will be announced on July 11, 2016 at www.fedex.com/grantcontest.
Private grants for women and Small-Business Entrepreneurs
Grants for women entrepreneurs and Small-Business Entrepreneurs:
- The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program: Five grants are awarded annually. The businesses must be 100 percent women-owned and have founding principles of social consciousness, sustainability and innovation, plus be ready to move to the next phase of development. In 2014, the program awarded $125,000 in grants.
- Huggies Brand — Mom Inspired Grants: The grant awards up to $15,000 to advance the development of innovative products inspired by the joys of motherhood. The awardees also receive resources to further develop their products and startup businesses.
- FedEx Think Bigger — Small Business Grant Program: Applicants are encouraged to share their visions to receive a portion of the $75,000 awarded in grants. Part of the judging involves the general public voting for the finalists, so participants may promote their businesses while garnering votes.
- Idea Café Small Business Grant: The Idea Café is a free gateway that hosts different grants on its site. Its current grant is the 16th Small Business Cash Grant, which awards one $1,000 grand prize to a business with the most innovative idea.
- InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge: This business challenge is sponsored by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Women’s Business Ownership. The challenge awards three winners $30,000 in prize money for businesses that have an impact on the lives of women. However, be aware of the recent fraud news around the SBA.
- Chase Google — Mission Main Street Project: Chase and Google have partnered to award $3 million in grants. In 2014, recipients were awarded $150,000 to help take their businesses to the next level. Recipients also received a trip to Google headquarters, a Google Chromebook laptop and a $2,000 coupon toward a market research study with Google Consumer Surveys.
- Small Business Innovation Research(SBIR): Eleven different federal agencies participate in this awards-based program, which incentivizes and enables small businesses to explore their technological potential.
- Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR): The STTR program reserves a specific percentage of federal research and development funding to provide funding opportunities in research and development.
- Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corp (WVEC) Small Business Competition: This competition, organized by Capitol One and Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, allows participants to present two-minute pitches for a chance to participate in a nine-month business accelerator program.
- Wal-Mart Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative (WEE): As part of a huge Wal-Mart initiative, sourcing opportunities for U.S. and international companies will increase to $40 billion over five years.
- Zions Bank — Smart Women Smart Money: This Utah-based bank’s grant annually awards $3,000 across six different categories, including business.