FedEx Announces Winners of Inaugural Small Business Grant Contest in Asia Pacific
Winning SMEs Receive More Than US$58,000 Worth of Grants To Support Their Ambitions to Go Global
HONG KONG, December 2, 2015 — FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, today announced the winners of the first-ever FedEx Small Business Grant Contest in Asia Pacific.
In Hong Kong, B-Free Technology Ltd., a local technology innovator, was awarded the grand prize of approximately US$20,000 (HK$150,000). After hearing about a disabled youngster who had been confined to his home for eight years as he could not negotiate the five stairs at the lobby of his building, the company founder came up with the award-winning B-Free Chair to help the disabled to navigate stairs and regain mobility. The grant from FedEx will allow the company to further research and develop its next-generation wheelchair, the B-Free Ranger, and expand into the European market.
The winner of the Singapore contest was RedWhite Apparel Pte Ltd, a long distance cycling bib shorts company that was awarded the grand prize of approximately US$18,000 (S$25,000) to assist in its plan to go global. RedWhite Apparel was launched in 2014 by Amreet Singh and Yuvaraman Viswanathan whose passion is cycling ultra-distances of 200 kilometers or longer. Frustrated by bib shorts that were uncomfortable and didn’t provide adequate support, they set out to make their own high-performance but affordable long-distance bib shorts for modern cyclists. Going global has been RedWhite Apparel’s goal since the company was launched, and it already has a presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan. The founders plan to use the grant to help secure wider distribution and expand into Australia, Europe and USA.
“SMEs account for 98 percent of all businesses in Asia Pacific and are a vital part of the regional economy. However, according to a recent FedEx study, only 36 percent of APAC SMEs are exporting despite there being a great opportunity to sell to markets beyond their own borders,” said Karen Reddington, president, FedEx Express Asia Pacific. “Through the Small Business Grand Contest, FedEx aims to support small businesses looking to branch out into new markets and help them fulfill their global aspirations. Both in Hong Kong and Singapore, we were highly impressed by the quality of entries we received. The contest serves as a showcase for the dynamism, innovation and creativity of the SME community in both markets and we hope it will inspire the wider business community and budding entrepreneurs.”
The contest was open to all for-profit small businesses that met entry criteria around the number of employees in the organization and the length of time the companies had been established, among others. In October, eligible SMEs were first required to register online and outline their business plans to go global. Selected finalists then progressed to the final judging stage in November.
First rolled out in the U.S. three years ago, this year marked the first time that the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest was held in other regions of the world. In addition to Hong Kong and Singapore, the contest took place in Brazil.
About FedEx Express
FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $48 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 325,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit about.van.fedex.com/newsroom.
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