Small companies have the chance to win up to £20,000 through a new initiative aimed at promoting ambition to export.
The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest will give small businesses the chance to win up to £20,000, with Fedex looking to help these businesses expand and achieve their international ambitions.
In November 2015, the UK trade deficit narrowed to £3.2 billion, with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) making a positive contribution towards this.
Small businesses are exporting more than they are importing with more than half (53 per cent) of British SMEs sending goods to international customers.
While small businesses are experiencing success internationally and are having a decisive impact on the British economy, reports suggest the UK may be unable to reach the government’s exporting target of £1 trillion by 2020.
Providing SMEs with financial support and advice is therefore of paramount importance, so they can fulfil their own development and success while continuing to drive the economy forward.
Raj Subramaniam, executive vice president of global marketing and communications at FedEx Services says, 'Small businesses are facing a number of challenges every day, whether sourcing finance, evolving market conditions or meeting the government’s targets.
'We believe even ideas that start small can have huge potential, and the small businesses that we serve every day are a powerful illustration of that. The competition, which provides tangible financial grants, demonstrates our commitment to helping small businesses unleash their potential and realise their dreams.'
First rolled out in the US in 2012 and extended to Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil in 2015, the contest is now being held in three European markets for the first time, namely Germany, France, and the UK.
The competition in the UK is open to for-profit small businesses with fewer than 100 employees that have been operating for two years or more.
Between 7 March 2016 and 3 April 2016, participants may register online, where they will be asked to elaborate on their business dreams and plans to go global. In April, the small businesses selected as finalists will be invited to provide further details of their business plans. Competition winners will be announced on 25 April.
For official rules click here. Two tiers of grants will be awarded in the UK: a grand prize of £20,000; and a first runner-up prize of £5,000.
For terms and conditions and to register, participants simply need to visit uk.grant.fedex.com.
Further reading on grants
See also: Small businesses wish to stay small