Finance · 16 March 2017

FedEx grant launched for exporting small businesses

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Small companies feel confident about exporting despite current uncertainty

Logistics company FedEx has launched a new small business grant, offering British firms employing under 100 staff the chance to win £20,000.

The FedEx grant competition, open to businesses from any sector, will give owners the chance to realise their company’s exporting ambitions and enter new international markets.

Entries are open from 1 March to 4 April 2017. The owners selected as finalists will be asked to give a detailed plan for their business’s international growth, a strategic vision and evidence of maintaining ethical standards to a panel of expert judges.

Two tiers of grants will be awarded in the UK – a main prize of £20,000 and a runner up prize of £10,000.

Commenting on the launch of the grant, sales director for FedEx Express in the North of the UK, Martin Davidian, said: “With globalisation, more small businesses are recognising the value of exporting to drive revenue growth.

“The FedEx Small Business Grant provides the opportunity for small businesses to realise their full international potential.”

The FedEx grant was first rolled out in the US in 2012, and opened it out to companies in Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil in 2015. The competition has now been launched in four major European markets – the UK, Germany, France and Italy.

“At FedEx, we strongly believe SMEs are the pinnacle of the UK economy and we are passionate about supporting their international endeavours,” added Davidian. “It’s exciting to know we could find the multinationals of tomorrow.”

Recent FedEx research confirmed the bullish attitudes of small UK company owners towards cross-border trading despite current economic uncertainties.

In a company survey, local competition within foreign markets was revealed as the main challenge, faced by 24 per cent of small UK exporters. However, it wasn’t enough to deter businesses from exporting, as 63 per cent of firms claimed to be trading internationally.

The winner of last year’s FedEx Small Business Grant competition, founder at Derriere Equestrian, Claire Galer, said the money had been crucial to her international growth plans. “It’s been a joy, an incredible accolade and a great success to have developed such a brilliant product range and a brand that is now recognised internationally,” she said.

“The grant money came through very quickly at a point when we were fine-tuning our production – it was an absolute blessing for the business.”

For terms and conditions and to enter, visit here.

Here’s why the majority of small business owners are braced for an exports boom over next three years. 

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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