Program awards grants to small business entrepreneurs owned by military-connected and/or people with disabilities in the U.S. in collaboration with Hello Alice and Global Entrepreneurship Network
MEMPHIS, Tenn., November 9, 2022 – FedEx today announced 30 grant recipients of the FedEx® Entrepreneur Fund, a new initiative designed to uplift veterans and small business owners with disabilities by providing access to funding, resources and networks to help them succeed. The fund will provide grants of $10,000 each to the 30 small businesses selected, for a total of $300,000, in collaboration with Hello Alice and Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).
Frederick W. Smith, Founder and Executive Chairman, FedEx Corporation, served in Vietnam. When he launched FedEx in 1973, he hired many Vietnam veterans to work for the new company. Today, nearly 50 years later, FedEx employee resource groups support veterans across the enterprise.
“We are excited and honored to offer this opportunity to veteran entrepreneurs and small business owners with disabilities,” said Jenny Robertson, Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Communications, FedEx Services. “As an enthusiastic advocate for small businesses, FedEx is always looking for new ways to support entrepreneurs in different industries with a range of missions and backgrounds. Collaborations with Hello Alice and GEN allow us to continue to help these small businesses grow and succeed.”
The Fund received a staggering number of applications, with more than 12,500 applicants, 57% of which were military-connected businesses, while entrepreneurs with disabilities made up 40% of the applicants. The majority of small businesses that applied were woman-owned (62%). Furthermore, 65% of applicants were Black-owned small businesses, followed by multi-racial-owned at 10.6% and Hispanic/Latinx-owned at 5.5%
In addition to identifying as a military-connected owner or an entrepreneur with disabilities, all 30 recipients have fewer than 25 employees, made no more than $7 million in annual gross revenue in 2021, and clearly demonstrated how $10,000 will help them support their business and customers.
“We are proud to work with FedEx and GEN to support these small businesses,” said Carolyn Rodz, CEO, Hello Alice. “As there is continued strain on small businesses from diverse backgrounds to access capital and resources, we are pleased to play a role in bringing them one step closer to their goals and to overcome these barriers.”
Grant recipients will be celebrated November 14 – 20 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, a movement led by GEN with support from FedEx, to make it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business.
All grant applicants receive free access to Hello Alice’s platform full of tools and resources, small business owner events, workshops, ask me anything sessions and fireside chats. To view the full list of recipients and their businesses, please visit: helloalice.com/grants/fedex. For more information about other charitable investments for entrepreneurs, please visit FedEx Cares.
About Hello Alice
Founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice is a free platform serving more than one million small business owners across the United States. Committed to equitable access to capital for women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, and entrepreneurs with disabilities, Hello Alice offers funding, education, tools, and curated opportunities. Working with enterprise business services, ecosystem partners, affiliates, and government agencies, Hello Alice provides its growing community with everything they need to grow their businesses. To learn more, visit helloalice.com .
About Global Entrepreneurship Network
The Global Entrepreneurship Network operates a platform of projects and programs in 180+ countries aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a business. By fostering deeper cross-border collaboration and initiatives between entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurial support organizations, GEN works to fuel healthier start and scale ecosystems that create more jobs, educate individuals, accelerate innovation and strengthen economic growth. Learn more about GEN at genglobal.org